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Stocks to watch: BTU, MGL, NZX, OGC, TEL, WHS

Friday 16th September 2011

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The following stocks may be active on the New Zealand exchange after developments since the close of trading. All prices are in New Zealand dollars unless specified.

Themes of the day:

The market will again be looking offshore for leads with no local data scheduled for release today.

Global equities rose for a third session after a commitment by the European Central Bank, the U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks to provide funding to European banks struggling to raise U.S. dollars.

On Wall Street, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 1.7% to 1,209.11, while Europe's Stoxx 600 closed 2% higher at 228.69. Yields on U.S. 10-year Treasury bills rose to 2.08% from 2% yesterday.

Bathurst Resources Ltd. (BTU): The coal miner posted a wider full-year loss as it acquired reserves and pursued resource consents and infrastructure for its Buller Coal Project on the West Coast. The net loss was A$13.5 million in the year ended June 30, from a loss of A$8.4 million a year earlier. A key date for the company looms, with Monday the deadline for appeals against its Escarpment mine resource consents. One appeal has already been lodged, meaning the company’s year-end mining target is unlikely to be met. BTU shares were unchanged yesterday on the NZX at $1.12.

Mercer Group (MGL): The struggling stainless steel fabricator has gained a waiver from Westpac Banking Corp. for a breach of a banking covenant and announced a $1.3 million ‘shareholder funding facility’ with second-ranking security over its assets. The waiver lasts until December and the bank also provided a $300,000 increase in the company’s overdraft facility until Oct. 11. MGL shares were unchanged yesterday at 7.5 cents.

NZX Ltd. (NZX): The securities market operator is set to get a shot in the arm, with Trade Me, Telecom's Chorus unit, and Quadrant Private Equity's Summerset all set to list before the end of the year, according to a report by the New Zealand Herald newspaper. That comes ahead of a possible listing of state owned electricity and resource companies, a move the National-led government is currently polling on. NZX shares rose 2.2% yesterday to $2.30.

OceanaGold Corp. (OGC): With the volatility on global markets easing since August, the gold price has begun to track downwards, with the hedge metal recently trading at US$1,788.69 an ounce, down from its peak of US$1,900 just over a month ago. Shares in OGC, the gold miner which doesn't operate a hedge book, were unchanged yesterday at $3.31.

Telecom Corp. (TEL): The country's biggest phone company is spending nearly half a million dollars on a corporate document mailout explaining the split of Telecom's retail business from network company Chorus in detail, according to a Fairfax Media report. The company is legally obliged to send the document to all its 37,000 shareholders under current securities regulations. TEL shares were unchanged yesterday at $2.53.

Warehouse Group (WHS): The country's biggest listed retailer posted a 29.3% increase in net profit of 77.8 million for the 12 months ending July 31, with the strong performance from its stationery unit offsetting a lack of sales growth from its Red Sheds. Group sales for the year were $1.7 billion, down 0.3%. A final dividend of 6.5 cents a share was declared bringing total dividend payments for the year to 22 cents. WHS shares fell 0.3% yesterday to $3.45.

(BusinessDesk)

BusinessDesk.co.nz



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