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Stocks to watch: Contact, Fletcher, KRK, NEW, NZO, PGW, TUA

Friday 23rd April 2010

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Contact Energy's latest update shows it continues to lose customers and Fletcher trims output of insulation as Australia quits incentive scheme.  Kirkcaldie & Stains' first-half profit jumps 50% and New Zealand Oil & Gas shares dip as crude oil prices fall for the first time in three days.

Contact Energy  (NZX: CEN ): The biggest utility on the NZX 50 posted its monthly; update yesterday showing it continued to shed customers, with a further 2,500 defections to other retailers between February and March. Still, the electricity sector enjoyed much higher wholesale electricity prices in March than over the previous nine months. Yesterday the stock fell about 1% to $6.18.

Fletcher Building   (NZX: FBU ): The building products and construction company yesterday announced its second reduction in output of glass wool insulation in Australia after the federal government ended its insulation incentive, leaving the company with excess inventory and slashing operating earnings from the business to $12 million from $23 million a year earlier. Guidance for group full-year profit was affirmed at $278 million to $303 million. The shares fell 1.1% to $8.43 yesterday.

Kirkcaldie & Stains (NZX: KRK ): The upscale Wellington department store said first-half profit jumped 50% to $725,000. Retail sales fell 5.2% to $19.8 million. The retailer reduced inventory, meaning it did less discounting. It said sales “remain subdued as consumers remain cautious about the economic situation” and the year ahead “will remain difficult.” The stock was steady at $2.85 yesterday.

New Image Group  (NZX: NEW ): The health-care products company said yesterday that revenue in the first nine months of the year fell 12% from a year earlier, mainly reflecting adverse movements in the New Zealand dollar. In local currency terms, sales were little changed. The shares fell 1 cent to 39 cents yesterday.

New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZX: NZO ): New York crude oil fell for the first time in three days after the European Union said the budget deficit in Greece was bigger than early estimates last year. Crude for June delivery dropped as much as 1.3% to US$82.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The shares fell 4 cents to $1.52.

PGG Wrightson (NZX: PGW ): Finance and investment group Pyne Gould Corp. is under pressure to sell its 18% in Wrightson as it pursues its ambition of becoming a bank, the NZ Herald reported. Rural Portfolio Investments this week sold about half its stake in Wrightson for about $27 million, leaving it with 6.1%. The shares fell 2 cents to 57 cents yesterday.

Turners Auctions (NZX: TUA ): The car auction company told shareholders at their annual meeting yesterday that profit rose 8% to $741,000 in the first quarter, as Japanese import volumes recovered, prices rose and it posted a record month for its Turners Finance unit. The stock was unchanged at $1.46 yesterday.

Economic themes of the day: Investors are already looking ahead to next week’s central bank interest rate review. While Governor Alan Bollard is expected to keep the official cash rate unchanged at 2.5%, economists are dividend about whether he will begin hiking rates in June or July. The kiwi dollar rose to a 26-month high of 53.42 euro cents from 53.23 cents yesterday after the European Union said Greece’s budget deficit was worse than previously estimated.

 

 

 

Businesswire.co.nz



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