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Stocks to watch: AMP Office, Fletcher, MET, POT

Stocks to watch: AMP Office, Fletcher, MET, POT, WHS

Oct. 23 (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: Stocks on Wall Street staged a late rally, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbing 1.3% as earnings from Travelers Cos. and McDonald’s Corp. beat estimates. The kiwi dollar edged up to 75.82 U.S. cents. Investors are looking ahead to the central bank’s Oct. 29 review of monetary policy, amid speculation Governor Alan Bollard will signal the easing cycle has ended.

Allied Farmers Ltd. (ALF): The shares sank 3.6% to 27 cents yesterday after the rural services and finance group said it breached a lending covenant and said trading conditions are “tough.” Westpac Banking Corp. has granted a waiver to the company after it breached banking covenants in the September quarter, it said.

AMP NZ Office Trust (ANZO): The country’s largest listed commercial landlord yesterday announced changes to its fee structure to align with unitholders, taking a lower base fee and a greater performance element. Chief executive Robert Lang said the manager will lower its fee on the troubled 21 Queen Street property until it reaches 75% occupancy. The shares were unchanged at 85 cents yesterday.

Cue Energy Resources (CUE): The oil company’s shares fell 2.9% to 33 cents in their second day trading on the NZX.

Fletcher Building Ltd. (FBU): New Zealand’s biggest construction company may bolster profits in 2011 on a pick-up in residential construction and the benefits of cost cutting, according to Morningstar analyst Nachi Moghe. The research firm raised its rating to ‘hold’ from ‘reduce.’ Morningstar reiterated its forecast for 2010 net profit of $306.5 million and raised its 2011 estimate to $385 million from $347 million. The shares fell 1% to $8.32.

Metlifecare Ltd. (MET): Chairman Charles MacDonald said results for the first quarter were up 50% from a year earlier. The retirement village company settled 84 units in the first quarter. It needs an average 30 settlements a month to achieve its stretch budget. For the month of September there were 53 deposits taken. The shares were unchanged at $2.27 yesterday.

Port of Tauranga Ltd. (POT): Chief executive Mark Cairns told shareholders at their annual meeting yesterday that trade was down 7.7% in its first quarter and containers tumbled 25%. Net profit edged up 0.2% from a year earlier, he said. There was no guarantee the port would continue to trade as profitably on reduced trade. The shares fell 0.7% to $7.20.

Pyne Gould Corp. (PGC): The finance and investment group yesterday raised $30 million in a placement to institutions at 43 cents apiece, bringing its total capital raising to $267 million. Pyne Family Holdings, which is associated with director George Kerr, will buy 1 million shares at 49 cents each. The shares resume trading today having been halted for the placement. They last traded at 46 cents.

Turners Auctions Ltd. (TUA): Shares of New Zealand’s largest single seller of motor vehicles jumped 4.2% to $1.25 yesterday after the company raised its full-year profit forecast, saying a pick-up in volumes and cost control had yielded a better than expected third quarter.

Warehouse Group (WHS): The biggest retailer on the NZX 50 is “increasingly confident” about the prospects for the business over the next 12 months, chief executive Ian Morrice said in the company’s annual report, released today. Profit fell 15% in the 2009 year, including a charge to exit fresh food and liquor. Shares rose 6 cents to $4.48 yesterday.


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