Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Auckland Airport Merger deal nosedives

News today that a bid by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for a sizable stake in Auckland International Airports [AIA.NZ] has been rejected by the Airport board is no surprise considering what was on offer.

Chairman of the Board of Auckland Airport, John Maasland, said the proposal would have involved an amalgamation and the creation of a newly listed airport company. Under the deal Canada Pension would have owned between 39% and 49% of the new company.

"If the amalgamation proposal went ahead existing Auckland Airport shareholders would have retained between 51% and 61% of the new company and maintained an investment in the restructured company."

It is understood that there were offers of various structures giving value to shareholders of up to $3.90 per share.

The company would also have been loaded up with considerably more debt.

I didn't think this or any other deal would go through and I said so months ago but the reason for the deal falling through, while clear, I never considered.

While I am extremely pleased that the deal fell over, I think at least shareholders could have been asked for their input on the proposal.

The company has excellent long term prospects and shareholders who didn't bail out today will reap the long term rewards.

AIA shares were down NZ .21c today to $2.87 on heavy volume.


Disc I own AIA shares in the Share Investor Portfolio


Queenstown Airport Buyout @ Share Investor

Queenstown Airport: Air New Zealand's Crocodile Tears
Queenstown Airport: AIA purchase good Long-Term but will cost shareholders Short-Term


AIA @ Share Investor

Long Term View: Auckland International Airport
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Directors of AIA bribe brokers not to sell
What is Auckland Airport worth to you?
Second bite at AIA by CPPIB might just fly
AIA new directors must focus on shareholders
Auckland Airport merger deal nosedives
The Canadians have landed
AIA incentive scheme must fly out the window
Government market manipulation over AIA/DAE deal
DAE move on AIA: Will it fly?

Discuss this Stock @ Share Investor Forum - Register free

Download AIA Company Reports
Download Queenstown Airport Company Reports


From Fishpond.co.nz

Every Bastard Says No: The 42 Below Story

Buy Every Bastard Says No - The 42 Below Story, by Geoff Ross & Justine Troy & more @ Fishpond.co.nz

Fishpond



c Share Investor 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Black Economy makes Sense

No, the title of this post isn't really about slave labour but it might as well be.

New Zealanders have been beaten over the head over recent years regarding tax cuts. Labour has been taxing and spending their way through the last 8 years and National have promised to give back the stolen booty should they seize the Treasury benches in 2008.

What have these high taxes been doing to our economy and what do they do to economies in general though?

If New Zealand Inc was a business, apart from the fact that it would be a very small one on a global scale, its shareholders would be demanding higher dividends, more accountability for company spending and more investment back in the "business".

The high rate of tax removed from NZ Incs balance sheet hasn't gone back into productive spending, it has really been taken out of the business completely, washed through many levels of management and then spent on fast cars, big houses, expensive chocolate biscuits and left handed screw drivers for the company executives and their friends.

Certainly not the kind of spending that produces income and also not sustainable in the long run.

If this huge amount of tax money was allowed to stay in the business of New Zealand Inc then the company would clearly be manifold times better off than it is now and we would all benefit from some quite large special dividends.

Lowering taxes actually stimulates economies and business and in the long run more tax is collected because the business functions allot more efficiently because capital is not tied up or wasted in pockets burning to spend it on wasteful things.

One only has to look at economies with low tax rates to see how well they do. Ireland and Singapore are two excellent examples of how well economies do when they are not burdened with the weight of high taxes.

Of course the "black economy", where there is no tax and only two participants, the buyer and the seller, involved in the transaction, is the single most efficient form of economy or business there is.

The way of the world of recent decades has been to cut out the "middleman", chain stores like Walmart and The Warehouse get goods delivered directly to their warehouses instead of buying through an importer and most retail now works this way.

Perhaps the most obvious example of the middleman not longer taking his cut is business done through the Internet.

Musicians, writers, movie makers , individuals auctioning their household furniture and a whole host of entrepreneurs are now doing business without using a go between with his hand out taking a cut of your income.

It is so efficient, why wouldn't you!

This is why the Internet works so well for business. It is most like how the black economy in the "bricks and mortar" world works.

Lets strip out those extra burdens to business and economies, the high taxes, and then we will all prosper for our hard work, as we should.

Clearly there needs to be some sort of nominal tax, of about a 10% maximum, to allow defence and police to function but any more than that just encourages waste and inefficiency.

I wont hold my breath but it is worth writing about so at least it might plant a seed in some of my dear readers heads.



Recent Share Investor Reading


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From Fishpond.co.nz

Bird on a Wire: The Inside Story from a Straight Talking CEO

Buy Bird on a Wire: The Inside Story from a Straight Talking CEO & more @ Fishpond.co.nz

Fishpond


c Share Investor 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

Share Investor Portfolio

I used all the second half 2007 dividends to buy some more shares today.

I added another lot of Pumpkin Patch(PPL) and two new companies to the portfolio.

Postie Plus Group(PPG) and Kiwi Income Property(KIP) are the newbies.

I like Postie Plus because of its wide range of brands at the lower end of the market and Kiwi Income because its mall looks set to dominate the area that it is situated in for some time to come.


The full portfolio is as follows:

Auckland Airport
ASB Bank Preference Shares
Fisher and Paykel Health
Fletcher Building
Freightways
Goodman Fielder
Kiwi Income Property
Mainfreight
Postie Plus
Pumpkin Patch
Ryman Healthcare
Sky City Entertainment
Steel & Tube
The Warehouse Group


C Share Investor 2007

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Dots get the Hots

Domino's says Europe's fragmented market offers openings. Photo / <span class=
Dominos Australia wants
a slice of the Global Pizza
Market.


Doing what our domestic Pizza Franchisee with the Pizza Hut license, Restaurant Brands [RBD.NZX] couldn't do, Dominos Australia [DMP.AX]the Australian arm of US giant Domino's is successfully expanding overseas.

It will open at least 35 stores in Europe each year until it reaches 1000 stores, betting on rising demand for home delivered food.

Domino's has a total of 667 stores, with 404 in Australia, 65 in New Zealand and a combo of 198 in France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Restaurant Brands [RBD.NZX] delivered appalling results when it bought the ailing Pizza Hut chain in Victoria Australia in 2000, with a total of around 60 stores.

Poor management was unable to turn company fortunes around and RBD has now almost finished selling their OZ arm after losing 10s of millions of shareholder dollars.

The pizza biz is a very competitive industry but if Domino's OZ expansion works then their slice of profits will get bigger.

Their approach to the New Zealand pizza market is far more aggressive and competent than RBDs and the signs look good for them to take it to Pizza Hut in a big way.

Domino's Australia is listed on the ASX .


Related Share Investor reading

Domino's Australia dominant in Australasia



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Usually ships in 24 hours


c Share Investor 2007

Tim Saunder's independence in question

Contact Energy[CEN.NZX] got together for an annual meeting yesterday. The biggest subject on the agenda, the appointment of some directors, particularly little Timmy Saunders, who was a director of failed Feltex Carpets.

Like all boards, Contact's board is supposed to be made up of independent directors but Tim Saunders allegiances lie with Origin Energy [OST.ASX]the majority Aussie owner of Contact.

Institutions want Saunders removed because of his involvement with the Feltex collapse and his twice advocating a bungled a sale of Contact that cost the company millions but Origin want him to stay to keep them primed for another attempt at a takeover.

The offer by Origin for Contact was at a massive discount to market and shareholder expectations but because Origin owns just over 50% of Contact and has enough Origin aligned shareholders on the board Timmy and his mates decided to give the deal the big rubber stamp.


Contact Energy @ Share Investor

Stock of the Week - Reprise 3: Contact Energy Ltd
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Follow the Monopoly Board

Discuss this stock at Share Investor Forum - Register free

Download CEN Company Reports


From Fishpond.co.nz

Every Bastard Says No: The 42 Below Story

Buy Every Bastard Says No - The 42 Below Story, by Geoff Ross & Justine Troy & more @ Fishpond.co.nz

Fishpond


c Share Investor 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007

Share Investor Friday Free for all: Edition 9

Airport lands big numbers in 2011


The airport hopes to enhance the arrivals experience for 2011 World Cup fans.
Auckland Airport

News today that Auckland Airport(AIA) is going to plunk down a huge NZ$180 million to expand the international terminal to coincide with the 2011 Rugby World Cup-the year we get the cup back,yeah right-means that the company clearly needs to borrow more or has a partner with deep pockets.

The extension will almost completely revamp the entire terminal and mean extra revenue streams through extended retail, car parking and the like.

No more news about the Canadian Pension Fund takeover yet but an extension such as this could make any possible sale more palatable given that Manukau and Auckland City Councils are shareholders and would want the airport to cope with all those South Africans springboking over here in 2011.

Long-term, Auckland Airport looks good for growth and shareholders would be much better off holding on to their shares.


Sky City Folds


Auckland Sky Tower,
just above the Casino



I'm not sure about you but the Sky City Entertainment(SKC) Annual meeting today left me none the wiser.

Recent profit guidance's were confirmed, much was made of the revamp of Auckland Casinos main floor and the usual blah.

Of more concern was news that the Adelaide Casino sale process was on hold and shareholders wont find out whether the company is going to be bought until the end of November.

We were told not so long ago that we would find out at the end of October and that Adelaide would still be on the block.

Now there is talk of revamping Adelaide in a similar way to the Auckland Casino because they know they can get it right, after years of getting it wrong and this is a turnaround from a few months back where management were "identifying assets to sell" and Adelaide was a prime candidate.

You would have to ask what has changed?

At least management have confirmed that the Cinema division is still on the block and we will know what for at the end of October.


Contact has Gas


http://www.learnz.org.nz/trips05/images/big/b-gt52-wairakei-contact.jpg
Contact Energy Geothermal Plant

Contact Energy(CEN) also got together for an annual meeting today. The biggest subject on the agenda, the appointment of some directors, particularly little Timmy Saunders, who was a director of failed Feltex Carpets.

Like all boards, Contacts board is supposed to be made up of independent directors but Tim Saunders allegiances lie with Origin Energy, the majority Aussie owner of Contact.

Institutions want Saunders removed because of his involvement with the Feltex collapse and his twice advocating a bungling a sale of Contact, that cost the company millions but Origin want him to stay to keep them primed for another attempt at a takeover.


NZX up in the Charts

http://www.nzx.com/aboutus/who_we_are/executive/Mark_Weldon.jpg
Mark Weldon

Stock Exchange operator NZX today reported a 49 per cent lift in third quarter net profit after tax to $NZ2.3 million.

The company said the lift in net profit for the three months to the end of September from $1.5m in the third quarter of 2006, was achieved on operating revenue up 34 per cent to $8m.

We have seen a dearth of listings this year, unless you count spectacular failures like Burger Fuel(BFW) and Xero(XRO), a number of companies have been swallowed up and a high number of the larger blue chips look set to go as well, with The Warehouse(WHS) Auckland Airport(AIA) and Sky City Entertainment(SKC) under the cloud of a sale process.

Weldon said that he looked forward to more quality listing in 2008, with a number of private equity owners looking to sell down.

One he mentioned was the owner of Griffins and Tegal, Pacific Equity Partners.


NZX Market Wrap



A slide to one-month lows for top stocks Telecom(TEL) and Contact Energy(CEN) depressed the New Zealand sharemarket today, in contrast to solid gains for markets around the region.

The NZSX-50 benchmark index closed down 40.43 points, or 0.9 per cent, at 4226.71, on turnover totalling just $88 million. Falls outnumbered rises 62 to 40.

"Our market bucked the trend really. We were down, but mainly around company-specific news like Contact," said Philip Hunter of First NZ Capital.

Telecom fell 11c, or 2.5 per cent, to a month low of $NZ4.31 after announcing an undertaking to have fast broadband to every town in the country within four years. Telecom will spend $1.4 billion on its next generation network and fast broadband over five years.

Contact Energy fell 19c, or 2 per cent, to $9.05 after it told shareholders that earnings would be flat, as the company battled high gas prices and low wholesale power prices.

"They just reiterated that the environment was going to be a bit tougher this year, so the market took that as a cue to just bring the stock price back a bit," Mr Hunter said.

Sky City(SKC) was down 2c to $5.40 after it said it was quitting the sale of its Adelaide casino while bidders sized the company up. It said it was comfortable with its August projection of a 10-12 per cent increase in profit in fiscal 2008.

NZX jumped 19c to $9.50 after it reported a 49 per cent rise in third quarter net profit to $2.29m.

Mainfreight(MFT) rose 8c to $7.40, continuing a strong run recently, (FRE)Freightways lost a cent to $3.79.

The general tone is that the domestic economy is getting a little bit tougher, costs are coming up a bit and margins are getting squeezed."

Auckland Airport(AIA) fell 5c to 306, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare(FPH) was flat at $3.28, F&P Appliances(FPA) shed 12c to $3.45, and NZ Refining(NZR) fell 15c at $7.41.

Air New Zealand(AIR) was down 2c at $2.12, Rakon(RAK) was 9c lower at $5.26, Pumpkin Patch(PPL) fell 3c to $3.05, and Fletcher Building(FBU) was off 8c at $12.18. Fletchers has dropped markedly this week over market worries related to a possible takeover by the company of Carter Holt.

Ryman(RYM) gained 4c to $2.15, Tourism Holdings(THL) was up 4c at $2.36, Nuplex(NPX) gained 8c to $7.58.


NZPA & Share Investor


NZ Dollar Wrap

Reuters currency rates:

4.30 today 5pm yesterday(NZ Time)

NZ dlr/US dlr US76.38c US75.36c
NZ dlr/Aust dlr A83.89c A83.47c
NZ dlr/euro 0.5334 0.5281
NZ dlr/yen 87.30 86.95
NZ dlr/stg 37.22p 36.81p
NZ TWI 71.03 70.24
Australian dollar US91.03c US90.28c
Euro/US dollar 1.4322 1.4269
US dollar/yen 114.28 114.07

Disclosure: I own SKC, AIA shares

C Share Investor 2007

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Conflicting Emotions

I was prompted to write this piece after having a discussion with someone in the real world-offline that is-about this blog, my reasons for writing and how I could possibly write about companies that I have a financial interest in.

What I would argue, is how can you write about a company with any authority and conviction without having some of your own moola on the line.

Of course one of the biggest arguments against writing and having a pecuniary interest in your subject is that your output may be tainted and that of course you have a financial imperative to spin your story to make it positive and fluffy.

That is true of some but you are bound to get caught out eventually if all that you commit to the PC is unmitigated candy floss.

I prefer to write about what is happening in the company from day to day, good or bad.

Of course I may put my own "slant" on things but it is unintentional and is purely my own style of writing.

Once you get to know how I write then I guess you may be able to see right through the crap!

Clearly I bought the companies that I sometimes write about so I do see them as good buys and I am bound to accentuate the positive when things are going well. On the other hand if anything is going wrong, I will be one of the first to point it out.

If anything, when I have a financial interest in my subject I tend to be more critical than if I had no money invested. My passion for the subject allows me to explore the negative aspects of a company even if individuals reading it get the wrong idea and perhaps decide they wouldn't want to buy shares in a company because I may have have written something disparaging about it.

Every company goes through bad patches and I will talk about those as well as the good times, I will leave it up to broking houses, brokers and some mainstream commentators to give the market the spin.

In the end it is up to the reader and individual investor to accept or reject the screeds of comment about some companies and make up their own mind.


c Share Investor 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Warehouse: Outcomes of Commerce Commision Decision

The Warehouse Group [WHS.NZ]watchers will know that the appeal case of Supermarket operators Foodstuffs and Woolworth's being allowed to bid for the company started yesterday in front of the Commerce Commission in the High Court at Wellington, after a decision barring either from taking over discount chain The Warehouse was brought down in June.

You will also know that the possible outcome of a Commerce Commission decision is probably going to be far from clear cut and is unlikely to provide investors or speculators with a clear focus on which to base any further investment.

My intention here is to outline what decisions the Commerce Commission possibly going make because it just isn't clear which way the cash register will open. It could go either way, with or without conditions but with the added confusion of The Warehouse itself being involved in the appeal.

What I would like to point out are the possible permutations that any decision by the Commerce Commission might have for the parties involved and investors in The Warehouse.

If the decision goes the way of both Foodstuffs and Woolworths Australia [WOW.ASX] being allowed to bid for the Warehouse then clearly this will be the best outcome for investors as there will be a fierce bidding war in which Woolworth's is likely to be the winner because its pockets are deeper than Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and that Mexican Billionaire who just made the top of the B club, combined.

Also with a open yes decision by the Commission it may leave the possibility of either Foodstuffs or Woollies partnering with Stephen Tindall to buy the company.

A no decision for both would of course lead to another appeal and would also leave the aisle open for Stephen Tindall, the majority owner of the Warehouse, to reignite his bid to launch a buyback of the company in conjunction with a private equity player or perhaps a new grocery entrant.

Woolworth's could be allowed to buy The Warehouse simply because its market share is significantly smaller than Foodstuffs.

Issues involved over domination of retail market segments should any of these decisions become reality may also rear its head. Selling of conflicting parts of any merged business that may cause competition issues may also be part of a Commerce Commission decision.

Whatever the outcome, the decision by the Commerce Commission is going to be a difficult one for them to make and is going to take a long time.

Since the sitting began on Tuesday 23 October the market has given the share price a boost by 20c to $5.65 today.


Disclosure: I own WHS shares


The Warehouse Group @ Share Investor

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The Warehouse Group: 2010 Interim Profit Review
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Long vs Short: The Warehouse Group
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WHS Court of Appeal case could be dismissed next week
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The Warehouse in play
Outcomes of Commerce Commission decision
The fight for control begins soon

Discuss WHS @ Share Investor Forum - Register free

Download WHS Company Reports

Shop online at The Warehouse


From Fishpond.co.nz

Bird on a Wire: The Inside Story from a Straight Talking CEO

Buy Bird on a Wire: The Inside Story from a Straight Talking CEO & more @ Fishpond.co.nz

Fishpond



c Share Investor 2007 & 2009

Friday, October 19, 2007

It was 20 years ago Tomorrow

No not Sergeant Peppers Band but the Great Stock Market Meltdown of 1987.

I didn't follow the Stockmarket 20 years ago. I vaguely recall a news incident at the time but didn't equate it with anything serious.

I was living in Sydney at the time, so the fallout from it wasn't as bad as it was apparently in New Zealand.

My introduction to the Stockmarket came almost exactly 10 years later, when I bought shares in the fast food operator Restaurant Brands Ltd [RBD.NZ]

Since then I have taken a great deal of interest in equities and my 10 years invested in it has taught me much.

Investing in the NZX has given me an appreciation of business, how fear and greed work in financial markets and most of all made money for me.

The biggest lesson that I have learnt is from losing money in a couple of stocks. That hasn't dulled my obsession with the market though.


Craig <span class=
Craig Heatley (left), and Allan Hawkins
after Rainbow Corporation lists on
the Stock Exchange in the mid 1980s


Unlike some who lost their shirts and more back in 1987 my loss wasn't very large and thousands of Kiwi investors haven't forgotten those heady days and wouldn't touch the sharemarket with a barge poll today.

The New Zealand Sharemarket was one of the worst affected back in 1987 and still hasn't recovered from the hit that it took. Most other global markets have multiplied their values many times in the last 20 years. The US market is now worth more than 5 times what it was worth all those years ago.

True, the NZ Stockmarket is a much more stable and regulated market than it was back in those wild west days but there are still some negative elements that linger today, most notably the insider trading that is done by NZX sanctioned broker firms and management of its listed companies.

Lets hope for a more positive next 20 years. NZX's Mark Weldon is doing a good job so if he straightens the rest of the markets kinks out then we might get somewhere.


Related Share Investor Reading

New Zealand Stockmarket: A History from beginning to present day.
"Mr Market" gets his groove on
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Stockmarket Education

Stockmarket Dictionary
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From Fishpond.co.nz - Buy Toughen Up: What I've Learned About Surviving Tough Times

Toughen Up: What I've Learned About Surviving Tough Times

Toughen Up - Fishpond.co.nz


c Share Investor 2007

Share Investor Friday free for all: Edition 8

It was 20 years ago Tomorrow



The day the market took a dive
in 1987.


No not Sergeant Peppers Band but the Great Stock Market Meltdown of 1987.

I didn't follow the Stockmarket 20 years ago. I vaguely recall a news incident at the time but didn't equate it with anything serious.

I was living in Sydney at the time, so the fallout from it wasn't as bad as it was apparently in New Zealand.

My introduction to the Stockmarket came almost exactly 10 years later, when I bought shares in the fast food operator Restaurant Brands (RBD)

Since then I have taken a great deal of interest in equities and my 10 years invested in it has taught me much.

Investing in the NZX has given me an appreciation of business, how fear and greed work in financial markets and most of all made money for me.

The biggest lesson that I have learnt is from losing money in a couple of stocks. That hasn't dulled my obsession with the market though.


Craig <span class=
Craig Heatley (left), and Allan Hawkins
after Rainbow Corporation lists on
the Stock Exchange in the mid 1980s


Unlike some who lost their shirts and more back in 1987 my loss wasn't very large and thousands of Kiwi investors haven't forgotten those heady days and wouldn't touch the sharemarket with a barge poll today.

The New Zealand Sharemarket was one of the worst affected back in 1987 and still hasn't recovered from the hit that it took. Most other global markets have multiplied their values many times in the last 20 years. The US market is now worth more than 5 times what it was worth all those years ago.

True, the NZ Stockmarket is a much more stable and regulated market than it was back in those wild west days but there are still some negative elements that linger today, most notably the insider trading that is done by NZX sanctioned broker firms and management of its listed companies.

Lets hope for a more positive next 20 years. NZX's Mark Weldon is doing a good job so if he straightens the rest of the markets kinks out then we might get somewhere.


Burger Fuel Shares get a Fuel Injection

The image “http://media.apn.co.nz/webcontent/image/jpg/Burgerfeul.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Burger Fuel Outlet

It hasn't been only the global oil prices climbing lately.

Burger Fuel(BFW) the New Zealand based gourmet burger maker, has had its shares climb from a low of NZ$.60c to 70c over the last week.

On very low volume again but the down trend has reversed.

No news about how the new Kings Cross outlet is going and I will be waiting with with great anticipation for the lowdown.

Good news for this outlets sales will push shares a lot higher.


The Dice get Fluffy

First it was then it wasn't and now it is again.

Sky City Entertainment(SKC) the casino, hotel and cinema operator had its shares halt trading for 15 minutes on Monday because the NZX feared that the company was trading without full disclosure to the market.

http://www.auckland.ac.nz/uoa/fms/default/uoa/for/prospectivestudents/living/auckland/images/Auckland-City-cinema.jpg

Sky City Metro, Auckland
City


This was because there had been rumours that another company had approached SKC management with interest in the entertainment group mainly because a director of the company mentioned it to a reporter on Sunday.

This was initially denied then days latter it was confirmed by SKC management itself that there would be indeed another "interested party" doing due diligence with a view to buy the company.

The other company is possibly US private equity firm TPG which is examining the books of SKC, sources familiar with the matter said today, with any bid seen worth over $US2 billion ($NZ2.7 billion).

The new contender is unnamed.

The complexity and ups and downs with the possible takeover of SKC has seen much confusion and speculation over the last 3 weeks since the M & A speculation was mooted.

I'm still hoping the buyout is a failure because I see more value in the company long term and substantial capital returns to shareholders as cinemas in New Zealand and the Adelaide Casino go on the block.


Fishing for returns


Fisher Funds, the highly successful New Zealand fund manager is currently offering what could be a good investment in years to come, if their track record is anything to go by.

Their New Zealand and Australian listed investment funds have done very well since their inception, with excellent returns so far.

Their latest offering is Marlin Global Limited. "Marlin will provide investors with access to a handpicked portfolio of outstanding growth companies selected from around the world", according to the company website.

This is an excellent way to get exposure to global markets without the attendant fees and taxes to complicate things.

You can download a prospectus here but keep in mind that it may not perform as well as Fishers other funds.

I may apply for a small parcel myself.


The Dots get the Hots

Domino's says Europe's fragmented market offers openings. Photo / <span class=
Dominos Australia wants
a slice of the Global Pizza
Market.


Doing what our domestic Pizza Franchisee with the Pizza Hut license, Restaurant Brands couldn't do, the Australian arm of US giant Domino's is successfully expanding overseas.

It will open at least 35 stores in Europe each year until it reaches 1000 stores, betting on rising demand for home delivered food.

Domino's has a total of 667 stores, with 404 in Australia, 65 in New Zealand and a combo of 198 in France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Restaurant Brands delivered appalling results when it bought the ailing Pizza Hut chain in Victoria Australia in 2000, with a total of around 60 stores.

Poor management was unable to turn company fortunes around and RBD has now almost finished selling their OZ arm after losing 10s of millions of shareholder dollars.

The pizza biz is a very competitive industry but if Domino's OZ expansion works then their slice of profits will get bigger.

Domino's Australia is listed on the ASX .


NZX Market Wrap



Today, the NZSX-50 benchmark index closed up 3.2 points at 4316.31, just 26 points below May's record high. Turnover was light, totalling $89.2 million. Air New Zealand(AIR) rose a cent to $2.12, Steel and Tube (STU) fell a cent to $4.38, Michael Hill(MHI) lost 20c to $10.30.

Carpetmaker Cavalier(CAV) was even at $3.25, Tourism Holdings(THL) dropped 16c to $2.32, Nuplex(NPX) fell a cent to $7.69 and NZ Refining(NZR) jumped 18c to $7.70 stimulated by rising world oil prices.

Fletcher Building(FBU)was up 4c at $12.38, F&P Appliances(FPA) was flat at $3.70 and F&P Healthcare (FPH) down 4c at $3.34.

Telecom(TEL) rose 2c to $4.54, while Contact Energy(CEN) was a cent higher at 943.

Sky TV(SKT) was up 9c at $5.95 amid talk over the company's planned on-market buyback. Small shareholders have been advised to vote against the buyback, which would increase the stake of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp to around 45.95 per cent, and possibly over 50 per cent eventually.

Sky City(SKC) was up a cent at $5.48, having added 7c yesterday over takeover activity.

Auckland Airport(AIA) rose 1c to $3.08, Freightways(FRE) was up 7c at $3.98, NZX climbed 10c to $9.50, and Rakon(RAK) was up 13c at $5.19, possibly over speculation of a good profit statement.


NZ Dollar Wrap

NZ Currency



The following are Reuters currency rates:

(5pm today - 5pm yesterday, NZ time)

NZ dlr/US dlr US74.90c - US75.22c

NZ dlr/Aust dlr A83.72c - A84.16c

NZ dlr/euro 0.5235 - 0.5284

NZ dlr/yen 86.20 - 87.57

NZ dlr/stg 36.55p - 36.86p

NZ TWI 69.98 - 70.56

Australian dollar US89.37c - US89.32c

Euro/US dollar 1.4300 - 1.4231

US dollar/yen 115.12 - 116.44


Disclosure: I own SKC Shares

C Share Investor 2007









Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sharetrader do dirty on Share Investor Forum

Further to the saga of Sharetrader VS the old Share Investor Forum site.

I have finally put two and two together.

Ive just been busy really.

One of the individuals has "connections" with the removal of my Share Investor Forum in July 2007 is the owner of Tarawera Publishing, Good Returns Books and owner of Sharetrader and Sharechat, my competition at the time.

They emailed me months back asking me to remove "unauthorised" advertising of their Good Returns Bookstore on my sites in 24 hrs otherwise legal action would be taken against me.

I was actually an affiliate of theirs.

The owner also pointed out to me in a phone conversation that the reason for removal of my site was for "copyright violation" but he denied links to the Sharetrader site.

He is clearly the owner.

In my opinion, when you take everything I have stated above, I find it hard to believe that the company is not connected with the shenanigans that I have outlined.


Related Links

shareinvestorforum.com


c Share Investor 2007

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Greed is Bad: Geneva Finance Folds

Geneva Finance, the latest New Zealand Finance company to go belly up has me slightly barking.

I say this because while directors and presumably trustees of the company have either been silent and or untruthful about matters unfolding over the last several weeks as their Standard and Poor's credit rating slipped from B+ to B- and now a D.

My first beef concerns the company and company trustee failing to adequately inform investors and prospective investors in the company, that the condition of the company was dire.

Investors and business media were repeatedly told by those in the know that Geneva was "doing fine" and they were able to trade themselves out of difficulties.

My take on the company at the this time was more negative than management and the writing really was on the wall when confusion reigned about a week ago when mainstream media were alerted to serious problems by a customer of Geneva that was told that they were not processing any further loans.

When questioned by several media about whether loans had been suspended it was at first denied then days latter validated.

Even at that point Geneva Finance was still taking deposits from investors and continued to do so until Monday, when the company announced they had defaulted on interest payments to investors.

My second beef comes to the point that directors of Geneva were accepting deposits from investors when they knew the company was in deep trouble.

Going further to this, the trustee, who is supposed to look out for investors when difficulties such as this arise has been strangely silent all this time.

Clearly the conduct of the directors of Geneva Finance and the Trustee has been less than adequate and serious questions put to them need to be answered.

The company is now going to ask investors in Geneva that they allow a moratorium be agreed to where the company will cease payments to investors for 6 months while they "restructure" the company.

Mr Riley said the plan would allow Geneva to stabilise its position, focus on negotiating a significant debt and equity transaction that would secure the long-term future of the company."

Shaun Riley, the chief executive stated:

The company had needed to "act quickly and prudently in the interests of our investors", he told Radio New Zealand.

"We're extremely confident that the period of the moratorium will be enough for us to put the company back into that stable position, secure that significant debt and equity transaction and really secure the long-term future of the company."


This is interesting language, it was also used over the last few weeks by the board to explain to investors that the company was doing OK.

Geneva Finance is owned by Finance Investments Holdings, which in turn is half owned by three Auckland property developers, Peter Francis, Gary Hitchcock and Nigel Burton.

As well as the 50 per cent holding, the trio own $7.1 million in preference shares, ranking above ordinary shares, and equivalent to another 35 per cent of the company's total capital.

Francis was a high profile "financier" in the 1980s and was chief executive of the failed Chase Corp, a top 10 company on the stock exchange in the mid-1980s which posted New Zealands biggest ever corporate loss before going belly up in the aftermath of the October 1987 crash.

Ironically it was only a day before the 20th anniversary of the crash that Geneva folded its tent.

Directors were not upfront with media and failed to fully inform investors in a prudent and sufficiently quick time frame.

The message is clear to me though.

It looks like management of Geneva Finance are simply trying to stave off the inevitable.

All the language and slack attitude of directors and the trustee points to this and directors so far haven't inspired the confidence in the market for us to think that they will come out with a positive conclusion in 6 months time.


Related Share Investor Reading

Hanover Finance: Hotchin Ponzi Scheme Suppression
Mark Hotchin Comes Out Swinging
Hanover's "White Knights" are really daylight robbers
Hanover collapse: It was just a matter of time
Money Managers Saga: 3 Story wrap
Money Managers gives First Step investors the middle finger
Greed is bad: Geneva Finance Folds
Financial 101: Learn before you leap
Kevin's Blog


Recommended Fishpond Reading

Crisis: One Central Bank Governor and the Global Financial Collapse

Buy The Intelligent Investor & more @ Fishpond.co.nz

Fishpond


c Share Investor 2007





Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sky City Entertainment Group Ltd: Opposition to Takeover

As you may or may not know, Sky City Entertainment Group [SKC.NZ] is under a possible takeover offer.

Much has been written about the possibility of this happening over the last few weeks including a reasonable bit by myself.

You may also know that I don't want to part with my shares, I am a long-term holder and the possibility of a sale doesn't excite me as it appears to have excited some.

I also believe a possible bidder will try and grab the company for a bargain basement price, the "above 6 bucks at share" price has been mentioned many times by a multitude of market commentators.

I personally wouldn't be interested in such a valuation as long term it is worth much more than that.

It is a virtual monopoly wherever it operates and a substantial premium above 6 bucks needs to be paid to take control.

I would ask any Sky City Shareholders to contact me, Darren Rickard at shareinvestornz@gmail.com if they are interested in getting a group together to oppose any definite sale/and or stand firm for a better offer.

Would be grateful for any feedback.


Disclosure: I own SKC shares in the Share Investor Portfolio


Share Investor Q & As

Share Investor discusses Convention Centre proposal with Nigel Morrison
Sky City CEO, Nigel Morrison
Sky City Entertainment: CEO Nigel Morrison discusses 2010 HY

Sky City @ Share Investor

Sky City Convention Centre Expansion a Money Loser: Part Two
Sky City Convention Centre Expansion a Money loser
Sky City Entertainment Group Ltd: Download full Company analysis
Sky City 2010 full year profit looking good
Long Term View: Sky City Entertainment Group Ltd
Sky City Entertainment: CEO Nigel Morrison discusses 2010 Half Year
Sky City Entertainment Group 2010 Interim Profit Review
Sky City to focus on Gaming
Sky City debts levels now more manageable
Insider Trading on Sky City shares
Sky City Profit Upgrade: Always on the Cards
Sky City's Current Cinema "Boom" a Horror Story in Disguise
Stock of the Week: Sky City Entertainment Group
Are Insiders selling Sky City Stock?
Sky City Entertainment 2009 Interim Result Preamble
2008 Sky City profit analysis
Sky City share offer confusing and unfair for smaller shareholders
Sky City Entertainment 2008 Full Year profit results , NZX release, 2008 full year presentation, result briefing webcast, financial statements
Sky City 2008 profit preamble
Sky City outlines a clear future plan
As recession bites Sky City bites back
Sky City Assets: Buy, sell and hold
Why did you buy that stock? [Sky City Entertainment]
Sky City Share Volumes set tongues wagging
Sky City half year exceptional on cost cutting
NZX Press release: Sky City profit to HY end Dec 2007
Sky City Cinemas no Blockbuster
Sky City Entertainment share price drop
New Broom set to sweep
Sky City Management: Blind, deaf and numb
Sky City sale could be off
Opposition to takeover
Premium for control
Sky City receives takeover bid
Sky City Casino Full Year Profit to June 30 2007
Setting the record straight
Sky City CEO resigns
Sky City Casino: Under performing
Sky City Casino 2007 HY Profit(analysis)
Sky City Casino 2007 HY Profit

Discuss SKC @ Share Investor Forum

Download SKC Company Reports


Recommended Amazon Reading

The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A      Book of Practical Counsel (Revised Edition)
The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel (Revised Edition) by Benjamin Graham
Buy new: $14.95 / Used from: $6.99
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Fishpond



c Share Investor 2007

Friday, October 12, 2007

Share Investor's Friday Free for all: Edition 7

The Dominoes keep Falling


The week kicked off with yet another finance company meltdown.



Geneva Finance, definitely not Geneva based, stopped lending money to clients.

A few weeks ago there were warnings about this company and latter on this week its credit rating was dropped by Standard and Poor's from B+ to B-

Standard & Poor's defines a B- rated company as one able to meet its financial commitments but vulnerable to adverse business, financial or economic conditions, doesn't look good.

Meanwhile, Nelson finance company LDC and its 700 odd investors could get up to 90% of their funds returned, company liquidators have announced.

This is one of the better returns from the 10 finance companies that have collapsed over the last 18 months or so.

Bridgecorp investors, who between them risk losing up to half a billion kiwi dollars have decided to discuss the merits or otherwise of taking legal action against Bridgecorp and financial advisers who gave clients the thumbs up to plunge their bucks into this rotting corpse.

Finally, Hanover Group, one of New Zealand's biggest finance companies, seems in a huge hurry to quit an apartment building that it helped finance and that has got into difficulty.

Instead of flicking off the 92 units individually and getting more money back, they are forcing a mortgagee sale and risk getting roughly half the proceeds that they could.

The problem with the most recent finance company collapses has been liquidity and cash flow issues.


A Slap on the Back


http://www.charlottesistercities.org/SisterCities/Krefeld/KrefeldVisit2007/tabid/134/Default.aspx


The New Zealand franchisee of KFC, Pizza Hut and Starbucks, Restaurant Brands(RBD) this week announced a net profit of NZ $4.5 Million.

This is up nearly 100% on last year, as the company barely managed a positive result in 2006.

Revenue increased marginally on last year

Much has been made by management of the KFC "transformation" through store refurbishments but the head chickens at RBD still have a long way to go to get close to sales figures from its listed heyday.

Starbucks continues to plod on without contributing to the bottom line but Pizza Hut has slowed the downwards flow in sales for its round dough making stores.

I was expecting better and it doesn't look good for next years announcement in May.


The Power to Succeed

Another nail in the coffin for New Zealand's economy was rammed home this week when the climate change disciples from the Labour Party and Green Party announced that this country would no longer be able to build fossil fuel power stations for the next 10 years.

We are currently short of reliable power sources for a much needed expansion of our economy and today's announcement means that we now risk current industry and put the price of power to consumers and business up simply because worshipers at the climate change altar want to collect more taxes.

Business especially needs the surety of a sustained supply of electricity to allow expansion of their business and the confidence to invest.

Look for more manufacturers to head across foreign waters because of this decision.

Nuclear energy would be the answer to this problem if it actually existed but the n word will not be discussed by the Gore-ites in the Labour party.


NZX Market Wrap




The NZSX-50 index, down earlier in the day, rose 9 points to 4305.62. Turnover totalled $NZ95.9 million, with falls outnumbering rises 54 to 59.

Telecom (TEL) fell 6c to $4.44, while Fletcher Building(FBU) jumped 23c to $12.78, and Contact Energy (CEN) rose 22c to $9.57 in the wake of the Labour Government's new energy strategy released yesterday.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare(FPH) was up a cent at $3.30 and its sister company Fisher & Paykel Appliances(FPA) up 5c at $3.70.

Sky TV (SKT) lost 5c to 570.

Among companies under M and A speculation, The Warehouse(WHS) was up 5c at $.548, casino company Sky City Entertainment(SKC) was even at $5.28, and Auckland Airport(AIA) climbed 3c to $3.10.

On the downside were Michael Hill(MHI),down another 14c to $11.26 following disappointing quarterly sales figures yesterday, and tech company Rakon (RAK) 12c lower at $4.80 in reaction to the higher currency.

Freightways (FRE) (POT) rose 5c to $7.10, Pumpkin Patch(PPL)was up 8c at $3.91, Mainfreight(MFT) rose 5c to $7.05, Port of Tauranga(POT) gained 2c to $3.13, and Tourism Holdings(THL) was up 4c at $2.31. The influential Fund Manager, Fisher Funds, from Auckland's North Shore, sold down Freightways and purchased more Pumpkin Patch.

Infratil(IFT) fell 4c to $3.05, fish exporter Sanford(SAN) fell 3c to $4.27, Steel & Tube(STU)lost 3c to $4.41, and Hallenstein Glasson(HLG) the clothing retailer was down 2c at $4.53.

NZ Dollar Wrap

Reuters currency rates (12.07.07) NZ Time
(5pm today 5pm yesterday)


NZ dlr/US dlr US77.02c US76.42c

NZ dlr/Aust dlr A85.52c A85.05c

NZ dlr/euro 0.5427 0.5398

NZ dlr/yen 90.41 89.62

NZ dlr/stg 37.89p 37.43p

NZ TWI 72.31 71.79

Australian dollar US90.07c US89.86c

Euro/US dollar 1.4192 1.4158

US dollar/yen 117.36 117.19


c Share Investor 2007