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Stocks to watch: FPA, Methven, NZX

Tuesday 5th October 2010

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Shares in Fisher & Paykel Appliances fell yesterday after it announced the sale of its Cleveland manufacturing site in Queensland, Methven pleads guilty to misleading customers with false advertising, while NZX saw monthly trades in September fall 13%, compared to August.

Fisher & Paykel Appliances Holdings (FPA): The home appliance manufacturer said yesterday that it has sold the majority of its Cleveland manufacturing site in Queensland, Australia, for A$21.5 million. The proceeds will be used to repay debt and the company will lease back part of the facilities to house its sales team and warehouse operations. The shares fell 1.7% to 57 cents yesterday. 

Methven (MVN): The manufacturer of taps and bathroom fittings pleaded guilty in the Waitakere District Court to misleading customers with false advertising and has been ordered to pay $50,000 plus costs. The shares last traded on October 1 at $1.75. 

NZX (NZX): The securities market operator saw the total number of trades in September fall 13% to 49,394, compared to the same month last year. Trading across all the company's indices was subdued, with volumes on the NZX Main Board down 13%, NZX Debt Market volume down 8%, and NZX Alternative Market down 47%. Shares fell 1.3% yesterday to $1.58. 

OceanaGold (OGC): The gold miner has announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell special warrants and common shares in the company on a bought deal basis to a group of underwriters led by Macquarie Capital Markets Canada and Citigroup Global Markets Canada. The deal is expected to raise C$115.5 million at a price of C$3.50 per security. Shares rose 0.4% yesterday to $5.02. 

SmartPay (SPY): The eftpos company is exploring the possibility of listing on the ASX as part it is major push into the Australian market. Through its Australian Cadmus Australia subsidiary, the company already has 12,000 terminals in the market with Bank of Bendigo and Live Group. The stock fell 2.9% yesterday to 33 cents.  

Vital Healthcare Property Trust (VHP): The trust, formerly known as ING Medical, will need a significant capital raising if it goes ahead with the purchase of Essential Healthcare Trust, according to First NZ Capital analyst Jason Lindsay, quoted on the ShareChat website. He estimates that Vital will need to raise between $100 million and $170 million, assuming it is able to acquire the assets at book value and allowing for the $A30 million ($39.5 million) development pipeline over the next two years. Shares rose 2.4% yesterday to $1.28. 

Lyttelton Port (LPC): The South Island's biggest port last week cancelled its protracted merger talks with Port Otago to focus on repairing the infrastructure damage caused by the Canterbury earthquake. The shares were last unchanged at $2.49.

Air NZ (AIR): US airline stocks fell on Wall Street yesterday amid fresh terrorism fears, higher jet fuel prices and a broader stock market downturn. Shares in Air New Zealand rose 0.8% yesterday to $1.30. 

Themes of the day: Shares on Wall Street and in Europe ended lower, after manufacturing orders in the US dropped by 0.5% in August, after a 0.1% gain in the previous month, and Goldman Sachs downgraded software maker Microsoft to ‘neutral'. The New Zealand dollar fell to 74.11 US cents from 74.32 cents yesterday, down from a 10-month high as positive US housing data increased the appeal of the greenback and as traders await local business confidence figures and the Reserve Bank of Australia meeting today.

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