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Stocks to watch: F&P Appliances, MFT, SPY, WHS

Stocks to watch: F&P Appliances, Mainfreight, SPY, WHS

Nov. 30 (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 tumbled on Wall Street on Friday after the U.S. market returned following Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day holiday and investors drove down shares on Dubai’s debt rescheduling plans. Among domestic figures, Statistics New Zealand is scheduled to release building permits today, which may show the housing sector is emerging from its slump.

Fisher & Paykel Appliances (FPA): The shares sank 7.7% to 60 cents on Friday, leading the benchmark index lower, after the appliances manufacturer posted a first-half loss and lowered its forecast for the full-year. The net loss of $82.4 million included a $55.6 million charge against its North American business.

Mainfreight (MFT): The shares are rated a ‘buy’ by Geoff Zame, an analyst at Craigs Investment Partners, according to the ShareChat website. Its operating profit margins were ahead of Zame’s forecasts, reflecting cost cutting initiatives, the lack of bonus payments to staff and the write-off in the March quarter of surplus warehousing capacity in Australia, according to the report. The shares fell 5 cents to $5.55 on Friday.

Methven Ltd. (MVN): The tapware maker whose shares have declined 12% in the past month is scheduled to post first-half earnings today. The company said in July that its full-year 2010 results may show earnings tumbling 20%, reflecting worsening trading conditions in the U.K. The shares fell 1 cent to $1.49 on Friday.

Smartpay Ltd. (SPY): The eftpos company that acquired assets from the failed ProvencoCadmus group declined 4.6% to 4 cents on Friday after turning to a first-half profit. Net profit was $353,000 in the six months ended Sept. 30, from a $2.7million loss. No dividend is being paid.

Warehouse Group (WHS): The biggest retailer on the NZX 50 said it will consider “any appropriate capital management initiative” in the New Year. Chairman Keith Smith told the annual meeting on Friday that the retailer will “continue to manage its capital structure with the intention of maintaining a conservative gearing ratio.” The shares dropped 2.4% to $4.05 on Friday.


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