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Stocks to Watch: NZ Equity Preview 9/2/09

Stocks to Watch: New Zealand Equity Preview

Feb. 9 – The following stocks may be active on the New Zealand exchange after developments since the close of trading yesterday.

Themes of the day: The New Zealand dollar rose on Friday in New York, reaching 53.23 U.S. cents, amid speculation the U.S. fiscal stimulus package will increase demand for higher yielding or riskier assets. U.S. stocks rallied, pushing the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 2.7% on Friday, when the NZX 50 was closed for the Waitangi Day holiday. Labor Department figures showed the U.S. economy lost 598,000 jobs last month, the biggest decline in 34 years, while the unemployment rate reached 7.6%.

Auckland International Airport Ltd. (AIA): The nation’s busiest gateway on Thursday said domestic passengers numbers declined 5.2% in December while international passengers fell 0.6%. U.S. arrivals fell 7.7%, those from the U.K dropped 2.8% and those from Australia jumped 10%, the airline said. The shares rose 1.1% to NZ$1.90 on Thursday.

Fletcher Building Ltd. (FBU): The largest construction company in New Zealand will kick off the earnings season this Thursday and head of research at Forsyth Barr Rob Mercer predicts the company will see a fall of 31% in its half-year after tax profits to NZ$161 million. Mercer said the stock remains fundamentally strong, and that the company’s in a good position. It rose 1 N.Z. cent to NZ$5.52 on Thursday.

Lion Nathan Ltd. (LNN): Australia’s second largest brewer has had its A$8 billion takeover bid for Coca-Cola Amatil shut down by the bottler’s major investor, the Coca-Cola Company, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. Lion walked away from the bid after talks between Coca-Cola Co. and controlling shareholder Kirin deteriorated. The brewer’s stock fell 1% to NZ$10 on Thursday.

Port of Tauranga (POT): Rival Ports of Auckland reported a 4.7% drop in container volumes last month, which may indicate a downturn in demand for port services. The Auckland company has said it may offer to buy Port of Tauranga’s container business. POT’s shares fell 0.2% to NZ$5.81 on Thursday.

South Port New Zealand (SPN): the nation’s southern port company announced first half profit more than doubled to NZ$2.3 million as it handled more cargo, allowing it to increase dividends. The stock was unchanged at NZ$2.10 on Thursday.

Telecom Corp. (TEL): Communications Minister Stephen Joyce has confirmed his preferred options for the NZ$1.5 billion superfast broadband network would go to the Cabinet as soon as this week. He made the announcement after abandoning the Labour government’s $340 million Broadband Investment Fund. Telecom shares rose 2.3% to NZ$2.70 on Thursday.

(Businesswire)

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