Saturday, January 3, 2009

Cairns Inc 2008 Report Card

It has been an interesting year for the listed entities of the Cairns business elite:

Hedley Leisure & Gaming (HLG)

It's hard to know what more to say about this mob. A poor and hopelessly conflicted structure, a weak board, incompetent administration and corporate governance. Maybe there's a reason it's trading so far below claimed asset backing?

National Leisure & Gaming (NLG)

The key tenant of Hedley's pubs where Our Tom has a 20% stake and has managed to lose almost all of it so far. The stupidity of their financial structure has been matched by the stupidity of their banker. Insider corporate shennanigans have destroyed trust.

CEC Croup (CEG)

CEC was rightly crucified by the market after the surprise half yearly bombshell on Feb 29. Having said that they deserve some credit for their efforts since in restructuring and especially transparent corporate governance. This could have easily been dead by now.

Early Learning (ELY)
The childcare plaything of Cairns business identity Greg Kern (also on the Hedley board and until recently CEC). This was floated in 2007 at $1 on the eve of the ABC debacle. Contracts to acquire Tom Hedley's childcare centre's subsequently fell over. Punters have no reason to feel sorry for Kerny who pulled some robust advisory fees from their float proceeds.

Reef Casino Trust (RCT)
A comparative pillar of stability in a decimated sector. However punters would be advised to have a look at the recent 'shock' pokie tax hike estimated to hit earnings by 25%. We await an announcement from Desley Boyle that all proceeds from the tax hike will remain in Cairns and be directed to construction of a new hospital in 2099.

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