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Stocks to watch: Allied Farmers, Contact, Cue, PGW

Stocks to watch: Allied Farmers, Contact, Cue, Wrightson

Oct. 22 (BusinessWire) – The following stocks may be active on the New Zealand exchange after developments since the close of trading yesterday. All prices are in New Zealand dollars unless specified.

Themes of the day: Shares reversed earlier gains on Wall Street to finish the session down as companies including Boeing Co. posted wider than expected losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.9% to 9949.36. The kiwi dollar climbed above 76 U.S. cents for the first time since July last year.

Allied Farmers Ltd. (ALF): The farming services and investment group said it has embarked on “an extensive review of its structure, market presence and operations” following its disappointing 2009 results. The review will focus on lifting market share and performance in rural and financial services. The company said it is “cognisant” of opportunities to raise capital and for securitisation. The shares fell 2 cents to 28 cents yesterday.

Contact Energy (CEN): The biggest utility of the NZX expects weak economic growth to continue to restrain earnings this year, chairman Grant King told shareholders at their annual meeting today. He declined to give specific guidance, citing the uncertain environment. The shares fell 8 cents to $6.27 yesterday.

Cue Energy Resources (CUE): The oil company with a stake in the Maari oil field began trading on the NZX yesterday, closing at 34 cents. The ASX-listed shares traded unchanged at 26.5 cents yesterday and have soared 61% in the past three months.

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Heritage Gold NZ Ltd. (HGD): The gold miner yesterday reminded shareholders that it has 35.8 million options that expire on Nov. 20. The rate to convert one option to one ordinary share is 8 Australian cents (10 NZ cents). The shares sank 3.7% to 2 cents yesterday on the NZX.

PGG Wrightson (PGW): The nation’s largest rural services company tumbled 9.1% to 70 cents yesterday, the biggest decline on the NZX 50, after being forced to defend new shareholder Agria and challenge what it said were erroneous media reports. Wrightson had been aware Agria was late in filing its 2008 annual report in the U.S. and faced class action lawsuits related to the company’s 2007 initial public offering, chairman Keith Smith said.

Pyne Gould Corp. (PGC): The finance and investment company yesterday said it had completed its offer of rights, raising NZ$237 million to strengthen its balance sheet with the help of underwriters led by First NZ Capital Securities. Some 66.6 million shares, a shortfall of $27 million, or 11.3%, will be taken up by underwriters. The shares were unchanged at 46 cents yesterday and have been halted from trading this morning for a placement of shares.

Pike River Coal (PRC): The South Island coal mine developer may need to tap investors for more funds to fund its operations until coal production comes on stream and cash flow builds. The company, which is awaiting approval from Liberty Harbor to extend a convertible bond, may need to raise $20 million via a placement or negotiations with customers to meet its operational costs. The shares rose 2.7% to $1.16 yesterday.


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