DowntroddenBattered Hawaii stocks, marked down to clearance levels yesterday amid the worst point drop in Dow Jones history, recouped some of their losses today as investors went scouring for bargains.
Hawaii stocks make up
some losses today
Hawaiian Air sees a 3.6 percent
bounce, but other travel stocks are mixed
By Dave Segal
Airline stocks, one of the hardest-hit sectors yesterday with losses of as much as 65 percent among the top eight carriers, were mostly higher today with Hawaiian Airlines Inc. among the winners. The Honolulu-based carrier, which lost more than 20 percent yesterday, gained back 3.6 percent, or 8 cents, to $2.33.
But other travel-related companies with Hawaii ties were mixed following fears that last week's terrorist attacks on the United States would drastically affect the tourism industry.
"The airline stocks are bouncing after the heavy selling yesterday," said Paul Loo, senior vice president of Morgan Stanley's Bishop Street brokerage. "Part of the selloff was emotion and part of it was justified because of the lower earnings.
"The airline stocks sold off so drastically that I think the bounce-back today recognizes that they may have gone too far. They were already in a somewhat precarious position because of the business slowdown before this happened. So it was a double whammy. I think there's help coming from around the corner in the form of federal assistance for the airlines, and when that happens, I think airline stocks will be a little more stable."
Honolulu-based Cheap Tickets Inc., which plunged 23.7 percent yesterday amid a broad selloff among online discount travel retailers, edged up 0.4 percent today, or 5 cents, to $12.60. Cendant Corp., which recently sent out tender offers to buy shares of Cheap Tickets at the previously agreed-upon price of $16.50 a share, dropped 3.5 percent, or 50 cents, to $13.90.
ResortQuest Inc., the owner of Aston Hotels & Resorts, which operates 33 hotels and resorts in Hawaii, gained 1.8 percent, or 9 cents, to $4.99. American Classic Voyages Co., which operates American Hawaii Cruises and United States Lines in Hawaii waters, was unchanged at $1.40.
Other leisure stocks, however, fell again. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., which operates or markets 13 hotels in Hawaii, including some of the best known properties in Waikiki, tumbled 5.4 percent, or $1.15, to $20. Hilton Hotels Corp., which owns the Hilton Hawaiian Village and operates other hotels in Hawaii, lost 8.2 percent, or 70 cents, to $7.85. Nevada-based Boyd Gaming Corp., which conducts travel packages from Hawaii to Las Vegas and has many shareholders in Hawaii, tumbled 17.6 percent, or 81 cents, to $3.79.
Loo, whose brokerage is typical of many other businesses around the country, said his company has curtailed business travel. That decision, of course, has not only hurt just the airlines but the hotel and car-rental agencies as well.
"Our company has postponed several meetings that were pending until all of this congestion and uncertainty at airports gets back to normal and the security gets better," he said. "Personally, I had three trips scheduled in the next 60 days that I've put off."
Meanwhile, Central Pacific Bank parent CPB Inc. was the biggest gainer among Hawaii banks, jumping 2.8 percent after it increased its dividend 6.3 percent and announced its sixth repurchase program.
Many companies around the country have announced stock buybacks this week after the Securities and Exchange Commission relaxed rules in order to help jump-start the economy. CPB said it will repurchase 3.5 percent, or approximately 290,000 shares, of its 8.2 million shares of common stock outstanding.
Since 1998, CPB has repurchased 23.2 percent, or 2.46 million of the 10.6 million shares outstanding at the inception of its first repurchase program.
"This stock repurchase program demonstrates our belief in the long-term growth of our company and the stability of the U.S. financial markets," Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Joichi Saito said in a statement.
CPB's dividend, meanwhile, was raised to 17 cents a share from 16 cents and will be payable on Oct. 26 to shareholders of record Sept. 28. Its stock advanced 84 cents to $30.84 and is now up 10.6 percent for the year.
Other Hawaii banks' stocks were mixed. Bank of Hawaii parent Pacific Century Financial Corp.'s shares fell 0.8 percent, or 19 cents, to $23.52. First Hawaiian Bank parent BancWest Corp., which is waiting for French bank BNP Paribas to finalize its deal for the 55 percent of BancWest shares it doesn't already own, edged up 0.1 percent, or 2 cents, to $34.78, near BNP's agreed-upon purchase price of $35.
City Bank parent CB Bancshares Inc.'s stock lost 1.2 percent, or 43 cents, to $35.57. And Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc., which includes American Savings Bank as one of its major subsidiaries, fell 0.5 percent, or 20 cents, to $40. Hawaiian Electric's 6.2 percent dividend is the highest of any Hawaii-based company.
Big Island biotech companies Cyanotech Corp. and Aquasearch Inc. continued to struggle. Cyanotech was unchanged at 60 cents while Aquasearch, which reported yesterday that it narrowed its second-quarter loss by 37 percent, gained 2.9 percent, or 0.005 cent, to 17.5 cents.
Honolulu-based oil and natural gas producer Barnwell Industries Inc., which conducts most of its operations in Canada, slipped 0.5 percent, or 10 cents, to $19.90 after being the only Hawaii stock to gain yesterday.
Barnwell, which declares dividends on an irregular basis, announced its third of the year yesterday, payable Oct. 17 to shareholders of record on Oct. 2. Although the dividend was down 25 percent from its March dividend, it boosted the company's total dividends per share for the year to 50 cents. Barnwell paid just one 10-cent dividend last year after going the five previous years without a payout.
Among other Hawaii-related companies, Matson Navigation Co. parent and landowner Alexander & Baldwin Inc. rose 0.2 percent, or 5 cents, to $23.84; Dole Food Co. tumbled 4.3 percent, or 95 cents, to $21.25; Maui Land & Pineapple Co. dropped 2.7 percent, or 70 cents, to $25; ML Macadamia Orchards LP, which grows and processes nuts on the Big Island, slipped 0.6 percent, or 2 cents, to $3.22; and Tesoro Petroleum Inc. tumbled 8 percent, or $1.03, to $11.72.
Kauai shrimp producer Controlled Environment Aquaculture Technology Inc. and Hawaiian Natural Water Co. both were unchanged at $1 and 20 cents, respectively.
How selected local stocks fared:Stocks of local interest posted mixed results today after being beaten down as part of a broader market slump yesterday, the first day of U.S. trading since last week's terrorist attacks. Here is how a few stocks performed today:
Hawaiian Air $2.33 + 3.6% CPB Inc. $30.84 + 2.8% Cheap Tickets $12.60 + 0.4% Pacific Cent. $23.52 - 0.8% Hilton $7.85 - 8.2% Boyd Gaming $3.79 - 17.6%
Source: Bloomberg News