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Stocks to watch: Delegat's, Fletcher, MCK, NPX, TEL

Friday 16th April 2010

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Fletcher Building shares at highest since May 2008 and Telecom cut its earnings forecasts for the next three years.  The Real Estate Institute releases March home sales and prices today. The kiwi dollar was little changed at 71.20 US cents.

Delegat’s Group (NZX: DGL ): The maker of Oyster Bay wines yesterday fell 1.1% to $1.83 after its 50.1%-owned grape supplier, Oyster Bay Marlborough Vineyards, said weak prices of grapes will result in an operating loss this year, forcing the grower to seek a waiver from its banking covenants. Oyster Bay (OBV) last traded at $2.

Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU ): New Zealand’s biggest construction company reached the highest since May 2008 yesterday, rising 1% to $8.53, after the government signaled its ongoing commitment to infrastructure projects with the announcement of a 1,000-bed prison in Auckland.

Millennium & Copthorne Hotels NZ (NZX: MCK ): The hotel group yesterday reported more unauthorised asset sales by a former senior executive, leaving the New Zealand group's Chinese joint venture with less than a third of the portfolio it owned a week ago and $26.1 million out of pocket. The company said further unauthorised disposals by former executive Cheung Ping Kwong can’t be ruled out. The stock was unchanged at 45 cents yesterday.

Nuplex Industries (NZX: NPX ): The specialty chemicals maker is rated a ‘hold’ by Dennis Lee, an analyst at Craigs Investment Partners, according to the ShareChat website. The company benefited from strong margin gains in the six months through Dec. 31 but those gains could unwind in 2011 as raw material costs rise. Lee said Nuplex’s earnings growth may stall in 2011. The shares fell 5 cents to $3.35 yesterday.

OceanaGold  (NZX: OGC ): The gold miner is being prosecuted for allegedly polluting a Buller stream, having been issued 15 infringement notices in five years, Fairfax Media reported. The West Coast Regional Council is prosecuting the company over breaches in resource consent conditions at its Globe Progress mine near Reefton. The company says it has remedied the problem. The shares rose 1.1% to $3.57 yesterday.  

Telecom  (NZX: TEL ): The company yesterday cut its earnings forecasts for the next three years and said it is being forced to comply with regulations over a copper network that don’t fit well into a fibre age. Telecom is currently “very, very difficult to analyse but there is potential for it to continue to get bad news with fibre to the home,” said James Lindsay, a fund manager at Tyndall Investment Management.  “There are a number of downside risks.” 

Economic themes of the day: Stocks in Europe and the US gained amid optimism about the outlook for the global economy, helped by figures showing a jump in American manufacturing and a better earnings outlook for companies including United Parcel Service.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, or VIX, which is known as Wall Street’s ‘fear gauge’ fell 2.3% to 15.83.

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