Stock Takes

A closer look at the markets by Tamsyn Parker

Stock takes: Port in a storm

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Shareholders in eco-friendly light bulb company Energy Mad may be a tad unhappy having lost 20 per cent of their outlay since its October debut. Photo / Supplied
Shareholders in eco-friendly light bulb company Energy Mad may be a tad unhappy having lost 20 per cent of their outlay since its October debut. Photo / Supplied

Port of Tauranga's share price continues to buck the trend of a slipping stockmarket after news this week it has taken a major shipping line service away from its North Island rival Ports of Auckland.

Free from the industrial strife hounding Auckland and debates about the use of city waterfront and council ownership, NZX-listed Tauranga's shares have climbed steadily all year, rising about 35 per cent. Shares closed yesterday at $10.

Ports of Auckland said the Maersk Line shipping service was worth nearly $20 million in revenue. If that value transfers to Tauranga it would be equivalent to about a 10 per cent boost, when compared to revenue of $185.4 million in the year ended June 30.

The port expects container volumes for the year ending June 30 next year will be up 25 per cent on the previous year. After its annual result this year an analyst described the company as running a pretty tight ship and doing a good job. Shareholders clearly agree.

HOPPING MAD

The issue price was $1 each so with the market price at 80c, shareholders in eco-friendly light bulb company Energy Mad could be forgiven for feeling, well, a bit cross.

The stock started off with a 5c premium but has since failed to deliver, which has Stock Takes thinking that Energy Mad may have fallen into a typical initial public offer (IPO) trap of over-egging investor expectations.

In October, Energy Mad gained a waiver from NZX listing rules after its IPO failed to attract the minimum 500 shareholders. The company raised $5 million in its IPO, selling shares at $1 apiece, after extending the deadline for the sale by two weeks.

It attracted 445 new shareholders deemed "members of the public" and had 15 existing holders, making 460.

The company has reported a $300,000 first-half net loss, which it said reflected cash constraints.

However, it was on track to deliver its full-year prospectus projections. The prospectus forecast was for a net profit of $2.1 million for the year ending March 31, 2012, rising to a $3.6 million profit the following year.

Energy Mad has just launched two new Ecobulb programmes in Germany through its distributor Eisen-Fischer.

These programmes are in partnership with two well-known German electricity utilities, which will direct-mail 600,000 homes an offer to purchase Energy Mad Ecobulbs from retail stores in the German states of Bavaria and Baden Wurttemberg.

Perhaps the eco-friendly Germans will help breathe some life into Energy Mad's share price.

BOND HEROES

ANZ has won the KangaNews award for New Zealand domestic bond house of the year. The bank also won KangaNews' "Kauri" bond house of the year award.

"Kauri" bonds are bonds denominated in New Zealand dollars but issued by a foreign entity.

KangaNews, a specialised credit market reporting agency which covers the New Zealand and Australian bond markets, gave its domestic bond deal of the year award to Bank of New Zealand for its $100 million bond issue for Auckland International Airport.

The BNZ also won the New Zealand domestic issuer of the year award. Auckland Council treasurer Mark Butcher was made New Zealand treasurer of the year.

KangaNews' New Zealand achievement award went to Paul Anderson, Eugene Bowden, Mark Butcher, Hugo Ellis, Stuart Henderson, Craig Stobo and Matthew Walker for their work in forming the Local Government Funding Agency, which was created to provide cost savings for local government borrowers.

PUNT ON PATCH

Briscoe Group boss Rod Duke's retailing nous has put him in the running to be the Herald's Business Leader of the Year but he's rueful about his role as an investor in another retailer, Pumpkin Patch.

Duke built up a 4.9 per cent stake when Pumpkin Patch listed at $1.25 in 2004 and built that to 8.37 per cent four years later, picking up the shares at $1.60 each.

Pumpkin Patch closed at 63c yesterday.

"Thanks for reminding me" was his response when asked about his Pumpkin Patch investment this week.

Duke says he still loves the company's merchandise, which remained on-trend.

But Pumpkin Patch - which had struggled in the United States - had in the past "fallen for a couple of three-card tricks". He said there were encouraging signs of substantial changes to the way it did due diligence.

At least he's in good company as a substantial investor in the Patch. Kathmandu founder Jan Cameron still holds about a 10 per cent stake.

BEACONS SHINE

The Shareholders Association last night announced its Beacon Award for outstanding performance.

The Beacon for leadership and guidance on corporate practice goes this year to Simon Challies, managing director of Ryman Healthcare. Association chairman John Hawkins said that since Challies joined Ryman in 1999 the company had increased its market capitalisation 10-fold and profits had grown from $6.2 million to $100 million.

"It goes to show that home-grown talent can foot it with the best of them," Hawkins said.

The association has also made a special merit award for the first time this year, giving it to former National Comerce Minister Simon Power.

"Power's contribution to the complete overhaul of capital markets law and regulation cannot be over- emphasised," said Hawkins. Power had achieved more in three years than his predecessors managed in 30, he said.

- NZ Herald

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