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Stock Guru Commentary

Tuesday 8th August 2006

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Carpet maker Feltex's parlous state was the biggest drag on portfolios this week as investor wait to see who its rescuer will be while a bunch of small cap stocks driven more by sentiment than hard news fuelled the best performers.

The Turner family, which owns the Sleepyhead bedding group, are trying to put together a rescue package for Feltex that would see them underwrite a third of a rights issue raising between $35 million and $40 million and which would keep the company listed in New Zealand.

That's an alternative to Australia-based Godfrey Hirst's $141.8 million full takeover offer which would deliver shareholders up to 12 cents a share compared to the mid-2004 float price of $1.70.

Over the week, Feltex shares sank 17% to 10.8 cents and weighed down all of the worst performing 14 portfolios.

All the major indicies were slightly in positive territory by the end of the week, the Top 50 gaining 0.4%, the Top 15 advancing 0.8% and the Small Caps Index inching up 0.2%.

Vending machine business VTL Group, which has a market capitalisation of $22.5 million, was the stand-out performer, gaining 42% to 74 cents over the week. The stock is in five of the 10 best performing portfolios, although not in the top three.

The latest news from the company is that it is planning to set up finance companies in Australia and the US to lend to people buying VTL's franchises.

Amphibious craft maker Sealegs helped boost the best two performers with its 18% rise over the week. At the end of June, the company announced it had received a $410,000 grant from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to develop a new boat.

At the other end of the spectrum Richina Pacific was the other major drag on the three worst performing portfolios with a 13% decline. The last news from the company was its annual meeting when shareholders were told it made a $US335,000 first quarter loss compared with a $US138,000 profit in the previous first quarter.

The best performing portfolio gained $5,870 over the week while the worst shed $4,210.

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