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Stocks to watch: Air NZ, Infratil, Methven, SKC

Stocks to watch: Air NZ, Infratil, Methven, Sky City

Dec. 1 (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 weakened on Wall Street, paced by retailers, after disappointing consumer spending over so-called Black Friday. The kiwi dollar weakened amid concern Dubai World is still at risk of default. The kiwi recently traded at 71.40 U.S. cents. The economy still faces significant risks as it climbs out of recession, according to a report today from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research. Economist Shamubeel Eaqub cited “renewed over-valuation in the housing market, rising unemployment, persistent external imbalances, rising oil prices and eventual withdrawal of monetary and fiscal stimulus."

Air New Zealand Ltd. (AIR): The national carrier yesterday reported a 4.1% decline in passenger numbers in October to 931,000. Short-haul numbers fell 3.3% while long-haul declined 9.1% from the same month of 2008, it said. The load factor climbed by 3.3 percentage points as the airline trimmed capacity by 10.3%. The shares were unchanged at $1.21 yesterday.

Infratil Ltd. (IFT): The biggest shareholder in Australian alternative energy group Energy Developments pledged support for a A$431 million takeover bid from a group affiliated to private equity firm Pacific Equity Partners. Infratil climbed 4.5% to $1.63 yesterday.

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Methven Ltd. (MVN): The tapware and bathroom fittings group yesterday posted a 15% decline in first-half profit, beating its forecast on more robust returns in Australia and New Zealand, and smaller losses from the U.S. The company reiterated its full-year forecast and said it expects to cut debt more than it had previously estimated. The shares surged 7.4% to $1.60 yesterday.

OceanaGold Corp. (OGC): The operator of the Macraes gold project answered an ASX price query by saying it knew of no reason for its recent share-price spike other than the soaring price of gold and its increased assessment of reserves at the Otago site. The shares tumbled 13% to $2.12 yesterday.

Restaurant Brands (RBD): The fast-food franchise holder said a pickup in trading has allowed it to increase profit guidance by 50% for the year to February 28 to $17.5 million. The announcement after the close of trading yesterday was its second profit upgrade in two months. The shares were unchanged at $1.46 yesterday.

Sky City Entertainment Group (SKC): The $59 million purchase price announced for its cinema business is good relative to its expected returns according to the ShareChat website. ASB Securities Analyst Florian Burch said by his estimates the company’s forecast free cash flow failed to meet its average cost of capital. Sky Entertainment will now be purely a casino business, its shares jumped four cents to $3.42 yesterday.


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