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Stocks to watch: Sanford, Telecom, Hellaby

Friday 12th November 2010

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Fishing company Sanford gets regulatory approval to hook rival Pacifica Seafoods, Hellaby reports a 2.4% rise in first quarter sales and Telecom joins forces with Vodafone to launch a joint bid for the $300 million rural broadband initiative.

Hellaby (HBY): The investment company told shareholders yesterday at its annual meeting that its trading performance for the first quarter of the new financial year was ahead of the corresponding period last year. Sales for the quarter ended September 30 were 2.4% ahead of the corresponding period last year. EBITDA for the quarter was $3.1 million ahead of last year, with net profit after tax $2.7 million ahead of last year. Share fell 2.5% yesterday to $1.95

Sanford (SAN): The listed fishing company has been cleared to buy rival Pacifica Seafoods Group by the Commerce Commission, boosting its market share of Greenshell mussels, Pacific Oysters, and king salmon. The regulator was satisfied the acquisition wouldn’t dim competition in any of the relevant markets. The shares last traded on Wednesday at $4.63.

Steel & Tube (STU): The maker of steel products used in the construction industry said demand had softened in October despite an improvement first quarter trading conditions. Chairman Dean Pritchard told investors at the company's annual meeting that it was on track to report an improved underlying profit for the six months to December, after net profit plummeted 78% last year in the wake of the financial crisis. Shares fell 0.4% yesterday to $2.39.

Telecom  (TEL): Telecom and Vodafone New Zealand, two of the country’s biggest telecommunications companies, have submitted a joint bid for the $300 million rural broadband initiative. The RBI looks to provide fibre to 97% of rural schools and a minimum  5 mega bits per second broadband service to 80% if rural households in the next six years, with today being the final day for submissions. Under the proposal they will combine their resources to build a new, open network infrastructure that will extend Telecom’s existing fibre infrastructure to key rural points, and allow Vodafone to provide high speed broadband services wirelessly. Shares in Telecom fell 0.9% yesterday to $2.16.

TrustPower (TPW): The softer market conditions which hampered the power company’s interim earnings are not a cause for long-term concern, according to Forsyth Barr analyst Andrew Harvey-Green, quoted on the ShareChat website. EBITDAF for the six months to September 30 was $147.7 million, down 4.6% on the year-earlier period and 9.1% below Harvey-Green's forecast. In the period the company faced lower Australian electricity prices, underperforming production and a mild New Zealand winter. Shares rose 1.1% yesterday to $7.40.

Warehouse (WHS): New Zealand’s biggest listed retailer has reported softer first quarter sales, as the promotionally driven retail environment put the company under pressure. Total sales for the three months to October 31 fell 0.2%. Warehouse sales fell 0.6% to $315.8 million with same store sales down 1.5%, while Warehouse Stationery sales rose 2.9% with same store sales up 5.3%. Shares rose 0.5% yesterday to $3.88.

Themes of the day: Stocks on Wall Street fell overnight after a weaker-than-expected earnings forecast from Cisco Systems weighed on the market. Cisco chief executive John Chambers said the company faced a "challenging economic environment" last quarter due to lower government spending in developed countries and market-share losses. In late afternoon trade the Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 0.6% to 1,211.46. The New Zealand dollar dropped below 78 US cents as investors’ fears over the state of Ireland’s sovereign debt heightened amid increasing opposition for a region-wide bail-out from France and Germany. The kiwi dollar fell to 77.91 US cents from 78.60 cents yesterday.

 

Businesswire.co.nz



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