Every so often stock investors ought to look at a few, for the brave, speculative stocks. The Braveheart basket is a play on the retail market picking up between the year end and the second half of 1997. The hope is enthusiasm for retail stocks will eventually reach these four minnows. All have reported year ending March 31 figures. At the top of the pile is clothes retailer Bossini. Its shares are up 16 per cent on the year to date against a rise of 11 per cent on the Hang Seng Index. It made a profit of $34 million, up 11 per cent. The group has net current assets of $135 million, up 45 per cent, with total assets, less liabilities at $291 million, up 17 per cent. The group cash-flow position is positive, turnover is strongly up by 37 per cent to $1.6 billion, but inventory is up 59 per cent at $185 million. Short-term debt was $53.8 million with longer-term debt at $27.27 million. Although the group is in the cut-throat, margin-squeezed rag trade, Bossini's aggressive mass market sales strategy should mean it can handle the growing competition, its level of inventory and short-term debt. Discount furniture chain Pricerite lost $4 million and on the year-to-date the shares are down 1.33 per cent. Being at the low-end of the home furniture and appliances market the group will be one of the first to benefit from an up-tick in consumer demand and the management's flexible sales strategy ought to ensure they can handle changing demand trends. Inventory is $52 million, up 18 per cent, in line with the sales rise to $670 million. Short-term debt is low at $8.7 million and total bank debt is flat at $40 million. Near the bottom of the sack is Tack Hsin. The restaurant chain has seen its share price hardly move since early 1993 and on the year to date the share is down 8.77 per cent. Profit attributable to shareholders tumbled 86.7 per cent to $8 million in figures affected by the booking of a $58.57 million gain in 1995. Operating profit is down 22 per cent at $17 million. The group has short-term loans of $44.8 million and cash and its equivalents fell $7.5 million. Golden Island shares have fallen about 10 per cent in 1996 and 27 per cent since 1991. The group loss was $6.32 million. Operating profit of $10.8 million, down 56 per cent, turned to a loss after booking a $7.9 million exceptional for mainland restaurant write-offs. Although short-term debt is $49.7 million, cash flow is positive. Both Tack Hsin and Golden Island are poised to benefit from an up-tick in retail activity.