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Stocks to watch: New Zealand equity preview

Monday 15th December 2008

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

Themes of the day: Shares on Wall Street closed higher on Friday, reversing an earlier slump, after the White House said it would consider dipping into the so-called TARP funding to bailout the automakers after the Senate failed to approve a rescue. Ecuador said it was in default on its government debt. Crude oil for January delivery fell 3.5% to US$46.28 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Air New Zealand (AIR): The national carrier agreed to acquire Tenix Aviation, an Adelaide-based aircraft repair and maintenance company, the Dominion Post reported. The shares traded unchanged at 84 cents on Friday and have declined 55% this year.

Cavalier Corp. (CAV): The carpet maker announced a joint venture with David Ferrier interests to rationalise New Zealand's wool scouring industry to reflect the substantial reduction in sheep numbers. Under the proposal, Ferrier will initially acquire Godfrey Hirst's wool scouring business. The stock traded unchanged on Friday at $2 and has fallen about 28% this year.

GuocoLeisure (GLL): The hotel and diversified investment company once known as Brierley Investments named Timothy Scobie, a former hotel executive, as chief executive. The shares traded unchanged at 40 cents on Friday and have fallen 52% this year.

Hellaby Holdings (HBY): Shares of the diversified investment company tumbled 15% to $1.23 on Friday after it said pretax earnings may fall as much as 26% this year on weakening demand for auto-parts, construction equipment and shrinking margins on shoes.

Pulse Utilities New Zealand (PLU): The company's net loss in the six months ended Sept. 30 widened to $2 million from a loss of $1.3 million a year earlier. Revenue from energy retailer about doubled to $103 million. The stock last traded on Oct. 2 at 55 cents and has fallen about 70% this year.

Ryman Healthcare (RYM): The rest home operator said in its first-half report that it expects "realised profits
to be as good, if not slightly better, in the second half." The shares were unchanged on Friday at $1.44 and are down 30% this year, better that the NZX 50's 34% decline.

Tasman Farms (TASMAN): The company that trades on the Unlisted market on Friday released details of its 98%-owned Van Diemen's Land Co. The business lifted profit to A$1.99 million from A$300,000 in 2007. Net tangible assets jumped to A$1.66 per share from 73 cents. The company said farm outlook "continues to be positive with production as at 20th November 15% ahead of 2007 levels" and milk levels benefiting from late spring rains. Tasman last traded on Dec. 12 at $1.12.

By Jonathan Underhill



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