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Stocks to watch: Botry-Zen, DIL, Kirkcaldie, PGW

Stocks to watch: Botry-Zen, Diligent, Kirkcaldie, Wrightson

Oct. 28 (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: The National Bank Business Outlook is due out today, showing whether companies are remaining upbeat about the outlook for the economy. Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard announces his review of monetary policy tomorrow and may hint that the easing cycle is over. The U.S. dollar strengthened after U.S. consumer confidence unexpectedly fell.

Air New Zealand (AIR): The national airline yesterday said it signed a code-sharing agreement with South African Airways flying between Auckland and Johannesburg via Perth starting next month. The shares rose 2 cents to $1.36 yesterday.

Botry-Zen Ltd. (BOZ): The developer of biological agents for controlling plant pests said U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved the registration of the company’s BOTRY-Zen product as a biofungicide, a first step to gaining a foothold in the world’s biggest economy. The shares were unchanged at 2 cents yesterday.

Diligent Board Member Services (DIL): The provider of financial services for company directors reported an “encouraging” third-quarter update, with sales growth, brokerage McDouall Stuart said, according to the ShareChat website. Sales in the first nine months rose to US$3.5 million from US$2 million a year earlier. The shares were unchanged at 42 cents yesterday and have soared 110% in the past month.

Genesis Research and Development Corp. (GEN): The biotech company’s shares climbed 10% to 8 cents yesterday, following Friday’s unanimous shareholder vote in favour of a new joint venture company to commercially develop its research into gene silencing.

Kirkcaldie & Stains Ltd. (KRK): The upscale Wellington department store yesterday reported a 4% decline in full-year sales to $44 million, while profit jumped 32% to $1.02 million. Managing director John Milford said margins shrank as the retailer turned over inventory to keep its offering fresh. Total inventory fell 18% from a year earlier. The shares were unchanged at $2.50 yesterday and have gained 11% in the past month.

New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZO): The company said the production station near Hawera for the Kupe output will have final costs higher than initially estimated, with NZOG’s share likely to be $195 million to $200 million. The increase should be seen in the context of a field that will producer for 15 years, with higher revenue than earlier expected. The shares fell 1 cent to $1.70 yesterday.

PGG Wrightson (PGW): The nation’s biggest rural services company tumbled 10% to 61 cents yesterday, the biggest decline on the NZX 50 on lingering concerns about new 12% investor Agria Group, the Chinese agricultural services group which is yet to file its 2008 accounts and is facing class-action lawsuits over its 2007 IPO.

(BusinessWire)

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