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Stocks to Watch: NZ Equity Preview 5/2/09

Stocks to Watch: New Zealand Equity Preview

Feb. 5 – The following stocks may be active on the New Zealand exchange after developments since the close of trading yesterday.

Themes of the day: Government figures today are expected to show the jobless rate climbed to 4.7% in the third quarter, with some economists predicting unemployment will reach 7% or more this year as the economy’s slump continues. Shares on Wall Street fell after Kraft Foods said earnings would miss its forecasts and Walt Disney Co. posted a slump in profit. U.S. figures showed companies eliminated a less-than-expected 522,000 jobs last month while the Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index improved to a reading of 42.9.

AMP NZ Office Trust (APT): New Zealand’s largest listed investor in prime commercial office property has reported a half-yearly net loss of NZ$5 million, due mainly to an unrealised NZ$39.7 million loss on interest rate swaps during the period. The loss will not affect profit available for distribution to investors, which are expected to be 4% higher than the previous year. The company’s stock fell 1% to 92 N.Z. cents yesterday.

Hallenstein Glasson Holdings (HLG): the clothing chain yesterday dropped 1.4% to NZ$2.20 after announcing first-half profit dropped as much as 41% as increased competition shrank its margins.

Michael Hill International (MHI): Australian government figures yesterday showed December retail sales had the biggest gain in eight years as the government took steps to encourage consumer spending. Retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 3.8% in December from November, more than twice the pace expected. Michael Hill was unchanged at 51 cents yesterday. Children’s clothing chain Pumpkin Patch (PPL), which counts Australia as its biggest market, fell 1.1% to 92 cents.

Oyster Bay Marlborough Vineyards (OBV): The vineyard manager said it has missed the Jan. 31 deadline for negotiating the sale price of its 2009 grape harvest with buyer Delegat’s Wine Estate (DGL). The independent directors consider that it is in the best interests of Oyster Bay to continue negotiations with Delegat’s beyond the cut-off date, the company said in a statement. Delegat’s rose 0.5% to NZ$2. Oyster Bay last traded on Jan. 8 at NZ$2.66.

Tourism Holdings (THL): The nation’s biggest campervan operator rose 1.5% to 67 cents yesterday after government figures showed tourist arrivals jumped by the most in seven months in December. Short-term visitor numbers rose 3.9% to 205,950, seasonally adjusted, in December from the previous month, according to Statistics New Zealand.


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