Stock Takes

A closer look at the markets by Tamsyn Parker

Stock takes: Domestic bliss

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The shape of things to come at Auckland Airport will become clearer as consultation on a new domestic terminal nears its conclusion.

Chief executive Simon Moutter said at this week's results announcement that consultation with airline partners and independent experts was continuing and an outcome was expected in the next few months.

Moutter says the heart of the terminal was built more than 40 years ago and it is becoming increasingly inadequate in terms of space and capacity for handling passengers, especially with the increasing use on domestic routes of larger aircraft such as the A320.

The current basis for consultation is broadly similar to that announced last August for a two-stage process, although the final outcome is yet to be determined.

At that time stage one was envisaged to be delivered in about three years from last August and see the first part of a new integrated terminal, with associated aprons and taxi-ways, built alongside the international terminal at a cost of about $100 million to $150 million.

Stage two would be a few years later and would see the completion of the integrated terminal, aprons, taxiways, a new runway of at least domestic jet length capability and the closure of the existing domestic terminal.

An integrated domestic and international terminal is better for the smooth and happy transfer of valuable overseas tourists out into the country.

NO LONGER A DREAM

The arrival of Boeing's hi-tech 787 Dreamliner aircraft into active service in New Zealand is finally drawing near after delays, including supplier and production problems, set delivery of the aircraft back years.

But the promise of improved passenger comfort, 20 per cent greater fuel efficiency and fewer emissions compared to similar sized aircraft still tantalises the industry.

The first delivery was made to All Nippon Airlines last September.

Air New Zealand is due to be the first customer for the 787-9 version of the aircraft with delivery in 2014. Jetstar says it is getting its Dreamliners in August next year but Continental looks like being the first New Zealand service through the gate.

Auckland Airport when delivering its results drew attention to comments made in January by United Airlines chief operating officer Pete McDonald who said the airline was getting the plane in the middle of this year "and one of our first routes will be Houston-Auckland, which we're very excited about".

A Dreamliner to the American dream.

RETAIL RALLY

Kathmandu shares have gained more than 20 per cent over the past four weeks, recovering a lot of the ground they lost just when a poor pre-Christmas trading update sparked a massive sell-off.

The outdoor apparel retailer's shares closed yesterday at $1.93, still below the $2.20 they were at before the December market update, but well up on the low of $1.56 they reached at the end of January.

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs has lifted its 12-month price target on Kathmandu stock from $2 to $2.20, saying the shift reflects movements in market multiples and the inclusion of 2013 financial year earnings-per-share forecasts in its calculations.

That would be an increase of around 12 per cent on the retailer's share price yesterday.

Kathmandu will report its half-year result on March 21.

PORT SAGA

It must hard for Port of Tauranga shareholders not to feel smug right now.

Nobody should rejoice in the suffering of others - unless of course you are talking about the business world and the "other" in question is your main competitor.

Ports of Auckland is busy ripping itself apart with a seemingly intractable stand-off between management and workers, replete with strikes, mud-slinging and what must now be among the worst of business cultures.

It is an exercise in self-destruction feeding work to Port of Tauranga, which already was viewed as performing well.

Ports of Auckland has said the loss of business from shipping line Maersk and dairy co-op Fonterra could cut port revenue by $25 million a year.

Meanwhile, Tauranga last month posted revenue for the half-year ended December up 14 per cent to $105.7 million and a 22 per cent surge in net profit to a record $34.6 million.

Since the record result Tauranga's share price has continued a steady trend that has seen the price rise from less than $7 in September 2010 to about $11 a share - giving it a market capitalisation of $1.5 billion.

There has been debate about whether New Zealand needs, at least initially, one port in both the North Island and South Island to be capable of handling bigger ships.

The conflict in Auckland can only be pushing the argument in Tauranga's favour.

CRANE INVESTMENT

Port of Tauranga says it will buy a seventh ship-to-shore gantry crane for its Sulphur Point fleet to handle the growing container volumes.

Container numbers increased 17.1 per cent to 344,081 twenty foot equivalent units for six months ended December in the half-year, compared with the same period the previous year.

The port will also expand its fleet of straddle carriers and increase the capacity of its rail terminal at Sulphur Point.

The announcements are on top of nearly $150 million of capital works already under way or planned, including a 170m wharf extension, the port says.

TOP FUNDIES

OnePath has pipped finalists Milford Asset management and AMP Capital Investors to be named Morningstar New Zealand Fund Manager of the year.

The fund managers were judged on returns across a range of specialist categories.

Category winners included Tower Bondplus in Fixed Interest, Fisher Funds in Domestic Equities and Brook Walter Scott for International Equities. OnePath also took out the KiwiSaver category.

- NZ Herald

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