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Stocks to watch: Affco, Air NZ, Fletcher, Telecom

Friday 29th 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: Shares fell on Wall Street, led by tech stocks after Motorola and Qualcomm forecast earnings that lagged behind some forecasts. Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard is scheduled to give a speech today entitled: ‘The crisis and monetary policy: what we learned and where we are going.’ Data out today includes building consents and merchandise trade.

Affco Holdings (AFF): The company announced the appointment of Hamish Simson as chief executive and Rowan Ogg as general manager, effective February 12. The shares climbed 2.8% to 37 cents yesterday.

Air New Zealand (AIR): The airline’s stock jumped 3.3% to $1.24 yesterday when it released operating statistics for December. International yields are showing signs of improvement, falling 7.5% year-on-year last month, said the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation. That compares to a 12.5% reduction in the second half of last year.

Fletcher Building (FBU): The nation’s biggest construction company will open its new cement bulk storage and distribution centre in Auckland next week. Golden Bay Cement's $45 million plant at Eastport on Wednesday. The new facility will double its storage capacity on Auckland’s CBD waterfront. The shares were unchanged yesterday at $8.07.

Telecom Corp. (TEL): The phone company shed 1.2% to $2.41 yesterday as chief executive Paul Reynolds was forced to apologise to customers for outages on its XT network that extended for a second day. Reynolds said compensation for customers may be considered.

Widespread Energy (WEN): The exploration said it raised $198,200 in a private placement of 1.65 million shares, raising funds to drill a stratigraphic bore near the Kotuku oil seeps. The shares were placed at 12 cents each, the last price they traded on January 18. The investors agreed to subscribe for a further 1.65 million shares should Crown Minerals grant a prospecting license over the Chatham Rise in the next twelve months, it said.

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