Looks like fast food is still doing a roaring trade. Second quarter sales figures for Restaurant Brands rose 2.3 per cent or $2.2 million to $96.1 million.

Pizza Hut has been the real winner for the company with a sales increase of 9.5 per cent to $15.3 million despite closing 11 stores.

Sales of fried chicken were also up with KFC reporting an increase of 1.8 per cent to $73.8 million boosted by the return of the Double Down burger.

But the news wasn't so good for Starbucks where sales fell 5.1 per cent to $7.5 million compared to the same time last year.


Shares in Restaurant Brands rose 1c on the update and closed on $2.20 yesterday.


Fisher & Paykel Appliances shareholders waiting to see what valuation independent advisers Grant Samuel come up with could be sitting on hold for a while.

The report is due within 14 days of Haier sending out its formal offer documents to shareholders. Those aren't expected to be mailed out until next week at the earliest but may not be sent until early to mid October.

At the far end of the scale shareholders could be waiting until the end of next month before they get clear guidance on whether Haier's $1.20 offer is good value or not.

What will be interesting to see is what the board will recommend if the offer is at the low end of the valuation.

The board has stated that it will be supportive of Haier's offer if the offer price is within or above the valuation range. But there is a lot of pressure mounting from fund managers that a higher bid will be needed before they consider selling up.


It's hard to know if Haier will go higher if its current offer isn't palatable.

Tower Investments head Sam Stubbs believes Fisher & Paykel Appliances could be worth up to $3.31 to Haier if it was fully integrated into the Chinese appliance firm.

The fund manager, which owns 3.68 per cent of the company, has also calculated its own valuation range of between $1.25 and $1.60 with a mid-point price of $1.43.

Goldmans also has a high level of variation in its assessment of the firm's value ranging from $1.03 up to $1.65 per share if management's five-year turnaround targets are full realised.

But Goldmans also note if corporate activity were to fall away Fisher & Paykel's share price would probably fall to around a 10 per cent discount to its base case valuation, around 90c.

Before the takeover was announced it valued the company at just 40c.

Fisher & Paykel Appliances shares closed on $1.185 yesterday.


There is talk in the market of a sharemarket float by a technology company called Arria.

Arria has connections to Brian Henry - a former chief executive and director of Diligent Board Member Services.

Diligent has been a strong success story - a counter-balance perhaps to Henry's past business failures.

According to Henry's website Arria NLG is a global software development group focused on Natural Language Generation and Big Data Analytics.

Stock Takes isn't up with the play when it comes to tech jargon but the company seems to have got Henry very excited.

"I believe Arria NLG has the potential to become one of the most successful technology firms in the world, given its unique intellectual properties and Saas (software-as-a-service) recurring revenue models," he states on his website.

Stock Takes understands some in the market have been put off by the technical nature of the business citing the old adage of not investing in something you don't understand.

If it does float Henry will not be on the board. However a number of high-profile New Zealand directors are rumoured to be joining the board.

The company could list in New Zealand or overseas and will most likely go ahead before March, beating any potential float of state-owned enterprise Mighty River Power.


Fisher Funds has also appointed a new portfolio manager to look after its international share funds. Kiwi ex-pat Roger Garrett will take over the role on October 1 after 18 years in the UK.

Garrett replaces Ken Applegate who left the firm in May to return home to the United States.

Applegate has been managing the portfolio from the US but will now hand over the reins as part of a transitional agreement.

Garrett will be backed up by new analyst Manuel Greenland. The firm is also keen to appoint another analyst.


Guinness Peat Group bond-holders are to get their money back in November.

The company issued $350 million worth of bonds in 2006 through its finance arm and has been paying 8.3 per cent interest to investors.

But that's expensive debt in today's low interest rate market.

Investors will now be faced with the hard task of finding somewhere else to stash their cash. It is unlikely they will find as good a rate of interest.


Fisher Funds' three listed investment companies have lost their third director this year. Lawyer Mark Todd resigned this week to pursue alternative career opportunities.

Todd's resignation comes just over a month after James Miller's resignation from the boards because of a high workload.

Miller had been on the boards for two years but is on a number of other boards including NZX, Auckland Airport and the yet to be listed Mighty River Power.

In May Annabel Cotton also departed. Marlin chief financial officer Ben Doshi says there is no particular reason behind the departures.

Doshi said Cotton was a founding director and had been on the board for five years alongside Rob Challinor and Ian Hendry.

Doshi said the company had decided it was time to refresh the original board under best practice guidelines and had used recruitment firm Sheffield to find new directors.

It will now be looking to replace Mark Todd.

Marlin Global closed yesterday at 70c, well below its net tangible asset value of 82.8c.