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Stocks to watch: New Zealand equity preview

Monday 22nd December 2008

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The following stocks may be active on the New Zealand exchange after developments since the close of trading Friday.

Themes of the day: Crude oil fell 6.5% to US$33.87 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Friday amid speculation OPEC production cuts won't be enough to underpin prices as global growth slumps. Shares of General Motors jumped 23% on Friday after US President George Bush granted emergency loans of US$17.4 billion to the auto industry.

Air New Zealand (AIR): The national carrier said passenger numbers fell 5.7% to 957,000 last month from a year earlier. The airline's capacity fell 9.3% while passenger load factor improved by 0.8%. The stock fell 2.2% to 89 cents on Friday and is down 53% this year.

Fletcher Building (FBU): The nation's largest construction company applied to the Commerce Commission for clearance to buy the Whangarei and Auckland masonry businesses of Stevenson Group. The stock fell 5.2% to $5.83 on Friday and is down 50% this year.

Kirkcaldie & Stains (KRK): The upscale Wellington department store said it has entered "the most challenging retail environment for many years," according to its annual report. "The Company will focus on managing inventory, obtaining the best value for every expense dollar and making profitable sales," it said. The stock rose 2.2% to $2.35 on Friday and is down 28% this year.

New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZO): The oil company's stock fell 3.8% to $1.28 on Friday as the price of crude oil declined. Crude oil fell about 27% last week.

NZ Farming Systems Uruguay (NZS): The developer of dairy farms in South America held at a record low close of 60 cents on Friday, having slumped the previous day after saying it may post a full-year loss of as much as US$11 million because of a sharp decline in international prices for milk.

Pyne Gould Corp. (PGC): The company transforming itself into a bank said late on Friday that it would likely post "a reduced first half performance compared to last year." Results would be dented by one-time items from its holding in PGG Wrightson. Pyne Gould was unchanged at $3 on Friday and has declined 20% this year. Wrightson fell 12% to $1.15 on Friday, the third daily decline since cutting its profit forecast.

By Jonathan Underhill

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