Tamsyn Parker 's Opinion

Tamsyn Parker is the NZ Herald's Money Editor

Stock takes: Changing guard

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Auckland Airport chief executive Simon Moutter is leaving to take up the top job at Telecom. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Auckland Airport chief executive Simon Moutter is leaving to take up the top job at Telecom. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Simon Moutter's decision to move from the top job at Auckland International Airport to Telecom will leave another hole in New Zealand's top executive ranks.

Auckland Airport will be the fifth major New Zealand corporate to have a change in chief executive this year.

TVNZ recently filled its top vacancy with former Telecom executive Kevin Kenrick while Tim Bennett will take over from NZX boss Mark Weldon early next month.

Head-hunters will also be looking to replace Air New Zealand boss Rob Fyfe who has already signalled his intentions to leave the company this year.

MEET 'N' GREET

Bennett is in Auckland for two days to meet up with key industry players including representatives of the broking industry and shareholders' association, preparing for the NZX change at the top on May 7.

NZX chairman Andrew Harmos says the meetings are designed to allow Bennett to listen to what the industry has to say rather than telling them what he plans to do.

Weldon will host his final annual general meeting on Monday, which is expected to end on a high note with investors voting to return capital to themselves.

VILLAGE PEOPLE

Craigs Investment Partners has retained its buy recommendation on retirement village operator Summerset Group Holdings in the wake of the decision to build a new village in Hobsonville, Auckland.

In a research note out this week, analyst James Schofield said the new village would make Summerset's build rate target of 250 units over the next five years more plausible.

"We also see SUM's ongoing urbanisation as positive, given Auckland's higher population growth and thus more likely house price inflation."

Schofield said while the surrounding suburbs were less affluent compared to Ryman Healthcare's Auckland villages in St Heliers and Remuera, the site was close to affluent suburbs such as Greenhithe and West Harbour and West Auckland was under-serviced by villages.

Summerset had a rocky start after its November float but is going from strength to strength.

It floated at $1.40 and was trading at $1.67 yesterday. Schofield has a 12-month price target of $1.74.

UPS AND DOWNS

Last year's other major float Trade Me has continued to storm ahead. Shares in the online retailer, issued at $2.70 in December, were trading at $3.51 yesterday.

But at the small end of town Energy Mad, which listed in September at $1 has fallen to 53c.

The energy-efficient light bulb manufacturer has had two profits warnings since its initial public offering.

Its prospectus forecast earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation at $.35 million. But in January the company warned that would fall to $1.1 million and in February it said a $700,000 loss was likely.

Investors must be wondering if they were a little mad themselves to get into this company, although research firm Woodward Partners, which backed the float, said in a recent note that while the warnings were disappointing, it believed the company still had attractive growth prospects.

TIGHT SQUEEZE

Looks like there'll be at least one more initial public offering before the partial float of Mighty River Power hits the market this year.

A source revealed this week that EnviroWaste Services was up for sale and its owner Ironbridge Capital was considering an IPO.

Ironbridge paid $365 million for the business in December 2006 although it has sold part of the business and added others since.

The source said based on EnviroWaste's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $48 million, the likely sale price would be up to seven times that - around $336 million. Ironbridge is expected to sell down its entire stake.

The sales process is expected to start in May which would leave just a few months to get the IPO off the ground before Mighty River Power's expected listing in September. Marketing of the float is expected to start July/August.

Another IPO which was a possibility for this year, Vision Senior Living, seems to have vanished into thin air.

WOOLLY ISSUES

Cavalier Corporation should promote the virtues of woollen carpets to Aussie consumers if it wants to make the most of the Australian market, an analyst says.

Shares in the manufacturer plunged 15 per cent to a three-year low last week after the company revealed a restructuring of its carpet business may wipe out profits this year.

Morningstar analyst Nachi Moghe said in a research note Australia presented the biggest growth opportunity for Cavalier, but it was also a challenging market due to the dominance of synthetic carpets.

"Consequently, [Cavalier] will need to aggressively promote the virtues of woollen carpets to Australian consumers," he said.

"There is good opportunity to take share away from tractional synthetic carpets."

Cavalier shares closed up 3c at $1.80 last night.

- NZ Herald

Tamsyn Parker

Tamsyn Parker is the NZ Herald's Money Editor

Tamsyn Parker is the NZ Herald's Money Editor. A business journalist for ten years, she has worked in the UK and NZ for the New Zealand Herald, the National Business Review and a specialist publication on investment products for financial advisors. She is passionate about helping readers learn more about to make their money work for them.

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