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Stocks to watch: New Zealand equity preview

Wednesday 24th 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: Wall Street extended its slide for a second day as US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke struggled to convince lawmakers in the Congress to approve a $700 billion rescue plan for financial institutions. Oil fell and the US dollar gained against the euro.

Fisher & Paykel Appliances Holdings (FPA): The nation's biggest appliances maker has slid 3.4% in the past week, bringing its slump this year to 50%. The company last month said full-year earnings may fall as much as 65% on higher raw material costs and one-time charges, though it predicted the second half would be an improvement on the first six months. Since then, Goldman Sachs and UBS have lowered their ratings on the stock. The stock traded at NZ$1.70 yesterday.

Kiwi Income Property Trust (KIP): The property investor, which has more than NZ$2 billion of assets, said there has been a NZ$51 million net reduction in the value of its prime office and retail portfolio in the six months ended September 30. Sean Wareing, chairman of the trust's manager, said he is cautious about the economic environment though provided there's no further deterioration the trust expects to make a cash distribution for the year of nine cents a unit. The trust's units traded at NZ$1.22 yesterday and have dropped 10% this year, half the decline of the NZX 50.

L&M Petroleum (LMP): The oil explorer yesterday was granted one of nine permits in onshore Taranaki in a partnership with Australia's Mosaic Oil. The shares traded unchanged at 20 cents yesterday and have gained 100% this year.

Sanford (SAN): The fishing company's shares have gained 40% this year, making it one of the few standouts on the NZX 50 Index. Sanford reports its full-year results in November, which will include a one-time gain from the sale of a Canadian investment. At the first half, it reported increased catches and higher prices. The stock rose 2.4% to NZ$5.63 yesterday.

Warehouse Group (WHS): The discount retailer is adding the 'Rachel' line of women's wear from former model Rachel Hunter and chief executive Ian Morrice is hoping the new range will help lift sales, the New Zealand Herald reported. The stock traded at NZ$3.14 and has tumbled 45% this year.

By Jonathan Underhill

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