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Stocks to watch: New Zealand equity preview

Friday 12th September 2008

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

Themes of the day: Crude oil for October delivery fell 1.7% to $100.87 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement price since March 24. US stocks rose as oil fell while financials ended the day higher on speculation Lehman Brothers will be acquired. In New Zealand, Warehouse Group posted a 21% drop is annual profit on weaker consumer demand.

Dominion Finance Holdings (DFH): The finance company said NZX Regulation has referred its inquiries into the business to the Securities Commission. The shares last traded at 1.2 cents and have slumped almost 100% this year.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (FPH): The New Zealand dollar is trading around 65.50 US cents, having tumbled after the central bank cut the official cash rate a greater-than-expected 50 basis points to 7.5%. A weaker currency helps boost returns when the company brings home its US dollar sales. The stock traded at NZ$3.14 yesterday and has gained 5% in the past month.

Rakon (RAK): The maker of crystal oscillators for global positioning systems, said earnings may rise this year, reflecting a weaker currency and increased sales to major customers. The stock has declined 30% this year and traded at NZ$2.75 yesterday.

Warehouse Group (WHS): It is "too early" to provide earnings guidance for 2009 though retail sales will likely remain subdued, the company said today. The shares traded at NZ$3.21 yesterday and have declined 44% this year.

Wool Equities (WEL): The company that extracts keratin from wool for bio-medical and pharmaceutical applications plans to delist its shares from the NZAX market and list on the Unlisted platform instead to cut costs in view of low trading volumes in its stock. The company posted a loss of NZ$4.5 million for the year ended June 30. The stock last traded at 26 cents on September 5.

By Jonathan Underhill

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