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Stocks to watch: GPG, HLG, NZS, OGC, VHP, WTL

Monday 26th 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 local market will be closely watching the release of merchandise trade for August today to see if New Zealand's commodity boom is still running apace. Global equities eked out a positive close on Friday, snapping four days of declines seen amid fears the global economy is spiraling towards another recession. On Wall Street the Standard & Poor' 500 Index rose 0.6% while Europe's Stoxx 600 Index closed 0.6% higher. The 19-commodity Thompson Reuters Jefferies CRB Index fell 1.7% to 301.87, its lowest level in almost 22 months.

Guinness Peat Group (GPG): The investment holding company sold its 19.4% stake in Turners Auctions Ltd. in an off-market transaction to a group of investors including Milford Asset Management. GPG sold 5.3 million shares in the auctioneer today, according to a statement to the NZX. GPG shares were unchanged on Friday at 59.5 cents.

Hallenstein Glasson Holdings (HLG): The clothing retail chain reported a 6.6% decline in annual earnings, blaming unseasonal weather for the lack of demand in some of its lines. Net profit was $18.5 million, or 30.65 cents per share, in the 12 months ended Aug. 1, down from $22.2 million, or 32.83 cents per share. Sales revenue slipped 0.8% to $205.5 million, and the retailer’s gross margin fell to 56.52% from 56.95%. HLG shares rose 1% on Friday to $3.18.

NZ Farming Systems Uruguay Ltd. (NZS): The South American dairy farmer may tap shareholders for US$120 million in a rights issue that could lift the controlling stake of Singapore’s Olam International Ltd. Farming Systems has called a special meeting of shareholders for Nov. 4 in Auckland to vote on a pro rata, non-renounceable rights issue at 70 cents apiece, which is 7.7% above Friday's closing price of 65 cents a share.

OceanaGold Corp. (OGC): The gold miner says plans to extend the lifespan of its Macraes mine in Otago could create close to 600 jobs, according to a report by NZN. The company is currently in negotiation with the Department of Conservation not to oppose its resource consents application in return for a $100,000 to look after a threatened native fish. OGC shares fell 8% on Friday to $3.

Vital Healthcare Property Trust (VHP): Shares in specialist medical clinic real estate investor Vital Healthcare Property Trust fell 1.7% on Friday to $1.14 after Australia & New Zealand Banking Group moved to shut down a bid to bring the trust’s management in-house. The bank last week bought a 9% stake in the trust for $31.2 million, part of which came from ANZ subsidiary OnePath New Zealand Ltd., which currently holds VHP’s management contract.

Windflow Technology Ltd. (WTL): The NZAX-listed wind turbine manufacturer announced it has signed a deal with U.K.-based North Fish which could see the ailing company secure its first sale since the completion of the Te Rere Hau wind project. The heads of agreement will see the company install a Windflow 500 turbine on the main island of Shetland. WTL shares were unchanged on Friday at 50 cents.

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