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Stocks to watch: Air NZ prepares for ski season

Wednesday 13th January 2010

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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: U.S. stock prices dropped overnight on disappointment at first earnings reports from the fourth quarter earnings season, despite ongoing signs that equities are back in favour. For the second time this week, moves by Chinese monetary authorities had impacts on global foreign exchange markets. A central bank edict that Chinese banks should hold more currency in reserves helped push the U.S. dollar higher, sparking small retreats by the New Zealand and Australian dollars. The ANZ Commodity Index is due out in New Zealand today.

Air New Zealand (AIR): The national carrier is boosting the number of flights between Australia Queenstown by 30% for the coming ski season, and adding 30% more seats between the holiday destination and Auckland during the peak August and July period, the NZ Herald reported. General manager Tasman Pacific Airline Glen Sowry said the extra flights were in response to a surge in demand over the past two years. Shares in the airline dropped 1.7% to $1.18 on the NZX yesterday;

Telecom Corp. (TEL): Consumer New Zealand has jumped on the bandwagon criticising the country’s largest phone company for repeated breaches of the Fair Trading Act, with chief executive Sue Chetwin saying harsher penalties may be needed, the Dominion Post reported. The criticism follows yesterday’s settlement with the Commerce Commission where Telecom agreed to refund some $9.5 million to customers overcharged for their internet services between 1999 and 2006. The shares slipped 0.4% to $2.54.
Warehouse Group (WHS): The discount retailer has had its profit forecast revised down to $87.7 million from $89.3 million by ASB Securities analyst Florian Burch following its flat sales result over the Christmas period, according to an article on the Sharechat website. Burch said the result was indicative of his impression that “general shopping activity leading up to Christmas was tepid and still characterised by occasional heavy discounting of the kind that has been widespread among major chains over the last 12 to 18 months.” Shares in the Warehouse declined 1.2% to $4.05 on the NZX yesterday and have dropped 2.4% in trading this year.

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