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Stocks to watch: Guinness Peat, Delegat's, HLG, TEL, DEL, NWF

Friday 26th March 2010

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Guinness Peat announces a scrip dividend alternative in lieu of an interim cash dividend and Delegat's Group has forecast 12 month sales will jump.  Hallenstein Glasson posts a 56% gain in first-half profit and Telecom announces another executive's departure.


Guinness Peat Group (NZX: GPG ): The investment company chaired by Ron Brierley today announced it will offer shareholders a scrip alternative to its interim dividend on the basis of one new share for every 35 held. At the same time, the company is proposing a 1-for-10 issue of ordinary shares, or as many as 168 million new shares. The stock rose 1 cent to 86 cents yesterday.

Delegat’s Group  (NZX: DGL ): The maker of Oyster Bay wines has forecast sales in the 12 months through June 30 will jump to $218 million from $216.6 million a year earlier. EBITDA is expected to decline to $43.6 million from $65 million, according to power points slides for an investor presentation. The shares fell 1.1% to $1.82 yesterday.

Hallenstein Glasson Holdings (NZX: HLG ): The clothing chain with stores in Australia and New Zealand yesterday posted a 56% gain in first-half profit, beating its guidance. Sales volumes in the first seven weeks of the second half were 2% down on the same period last year. The stock yesterday fell 1.5% to $3.40.

Telecom  (NZX: TEL ): The nation’s biggest phone company yesterday announced the departure of a second executive associated with its XT network. Paul Hamburger, who the company actually referred to as Mr XT, will leave in July. Chief transformational officer Frank Mount was the first to leave, when the company was forced to pay $15 million in compensation to customers over a string of outages on its XT mobile network. The stock edged up 0.5% to $2.14 yesterday.

Dairy Equities (NZX: DEL ):  The company yesterday announced that it had agreed to sell the majority of its remaining Fonterra Fair Value Shares to a group of investors assembled by Craigs Investment Partners. The sale signals another step toward winding up the company. Yesterday the shares fell 4% to 7.3 cents.

New Zealand Windfarms (NZX: NWF ): Funds associated with Australia’s Suncorp Group disclosed an increase in their holding to about 9.9% from 8.2%. Last week, Windfarms announced on Friday plans to raise $34.1 million in an eight-for-three cash issue at 15 cents apiece to enable it to keep operating. And on Monday, it said chief executive Steve Cross won’t renew his contract and will leave the company. The shares climbed 7% to 30 cents yesterday.


Economic themes of the day: The New Zealand dollar rose above 53 euro cents for the first time since March 2008 as traders await a European Union summit to try to reach consensus on aid for Greece.

Stocks pared gains on Wall Street after weak bidding at an auction of Treasury bonds. Locally, merchandise trade data out today is expected to show a surplus of $480 million last month, according to a Reuters survey.

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