Stock Takes

A closer look at the markets by Tamsyn Parker

Stock takes: Not the vest gift

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Paul Reynolds in his new Chorus high-vis vest. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Paul Reynolds in his new Chorus high-vis vest. Photo / Sarah Ivey

A Telecom boss was miffed when the company exchanged gifts with the heads of Chorus at a ceremony on Wednesday celebrating the two firms splitting up.

Members of Telecom's executive gave Chorus bosses greenstone, while Chorus returned the favour with personalised high-visibility vests.

Chorus chief executive Mark Ratcliffe joked on stage that, being an infrastructure company, their gifts were more "modest".

But after the event one Telecom boss was not at all impressed with the exchange and believed he got a raw deal - exchanging "beautiful pounamu" for a piece of orange safety gear. Stock Takes agrees.

HALF A BRAIN?

Telecom was the lucky recipient of a "Whole Brain Thinking" award this week - and is only the third company in the world to receive such an accolade.

The award was given by Herrmann International, a firm that pushes the whole brain thinking concept, which helps companies enhance "creative thinking" and improve organisation.

According to Herrmann International, the system involves dividing the brain into four quadrants which represent different types of thinking.

Tools can then be used to work out what degree of preference individuals have for thinking in each of these brain quadrants.

Telecom used the system in its call-centres and across its retail business, Herrmann International said.

IBM and Microsoft are the only other companies to receive the award.

Stock Takes congratulates Telecom but asks whether the company's split with Chorus this week means it now only has half a brain?

Telecom shares closed yesterday down 4c at $1.99, while Chorus fell 9c to $3.20.

WHITEWASH

Long suffering Fisher & Paykel Appliances shareholders had little to celebrate when the whiteware maker released its half-year result last Friday.

News of a cut to forecast earnings and a big drop in interim net profit has seen the manufacturer's share price slump from above 40c to just 35c. Shares closed yesterday steady at 35c.

During the global financial crisis in early 2009 the firm's share price fell as low as 26c.

Haier, a Chinese home goods maker, brought the East Tamaki-based firm back from the brink when it invested around $82 million in return for a 20 per cent stake in the New Zealand company.

F&P Appliances' stock recovered a lot of ground in the wake of Haier's investment, but it's looking like it won't be too long before all of those gains have been extinguished.

SOLID INVESTMENTS

The gas problem which temporarily shut Solid Energy's Huntly East mine is seen as a timely reminder the state-owned enterprise will be a much different investment proposition to energy companies in line for partial sale.

Although the coal company's listing is likely to be several years away, market commentator Arthur Lim points out the mining sector is risky - not only from a health and safety standpoint but also because of fluctuating commodity prices.

The electricity generating and retailing SOEs are generally predictable earners, but Solid Energy's rewards are potentially higher, along with its risks.

The mum and dad retail investors targeted in the asset sales either knew little about risk or were extremely risk averse, Lim says. Commodity investments needed to be part of a broad portfolio.

"After Pike River something like the Huntly situation would send shivers up investors' spines."

He points out there is, however, a big difference between Pike and Solid.

The latter has a decent track record with multiple mines in production and is well capitalised.

- NZ Herald

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