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Stocks to watch: Fletcher, Goodman Property, NZX

Friday 7th August 2009

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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: Shares fell on Wall Street before July jobs data that may show the unemployment rate rose to 9.6%, the highest since 1983. New Zealand’s dollar held above 67 US cents. NZX reports today and may post a surge in net profit on gains from asset sales. ASB housing confidence survey for the second quarter showed price expectations have moved back to neutral and interest rates are no longer expected to fall. 

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (FPH): Rival manufacturer Resmed Inc., the world’s second-biggest maker of masks and ventilators for sleep disorders, posted a 53% increase in fourth-quarter profit, reflecting currency gains. F&P Healthcare shares rose 6 cents to $3.25 yesterday. 

Fletcher Building (FBU): The nation’s biggest construction company is scheduled to report earnings next Wednesday. Earnings before on-time items probably fell 37% to $295 million, according to Forsyth Barr analyst Rob Mercer. The shares fell 10 cents to $7.35 yesterday. 

Goodman Property Trust (GMT): The commercial property developer and manager is 75% of the way through its asset sale programme after it picked up $27.5 million for Pernod Ricard NZ House in Auckland’s viaduct precinct. Chief executive John Dakin said the company has another sale of similar value in the pipeline. The shares gained 1% to 99 cents on the NZX yesterday.  

Lion Nathan (LNN): Independent valuer Lonergan Edwards & Associates concluded Kirin’s A$3.5 billion offer for the 53.9% of the brewer it doesn’t already own is fair and in the best interests of non-Kirin shareholders. On the strength of the report, Lion’s independent directors endorsed the proposal, which shareholders will vote on next month. The shares rose 0.2% to $14.71 on the NZX yesterday. 

NZX (NZX): The stock exchange operator posted a 1123% gain in first-half earnings to $60.8 million on sales of TZ1 and the Bond Exchange of South Africa. A profit of $61.6 million had been expected, according to Forsyth Barr. The shares fell 4 cents to $7.71 yesterday. 

Wool Equities (WEL): the company said today it will proceed with its pro-rata share buyback of two out of every three shares held as at August 7 at a purchase price of 17.4 cents apiece. The company will acquire up to 15.95 million ordinary shares for up to $2.78 million. The shares last traded at 9.9 cents on August 3.

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