Bloomberg News

Australian, N.Z. Stocks: Billabong, Elders, Newcrest, Macmahon

December 20, 2011

Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index declined 0.2 percent to 4,053.10 at the close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index fell 0.7 percent to 3,202.02 in Wellington.

The following were among the most active shares in the market today. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.

Billabong International Ltd. (BBG AU) plunged for a second day, losing 13 percent to A$1.77, after the surfwear maker said yesterday that first-half profit may fall as much as 26 percent. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization will fall to between A$70 million and A$75 million ($69 million to $74 million) in the six months ending December from A$94.6 million a year earlier, the company said.

Cochlear Ltd. (COH AU) surged 16 percent to A$64.33. The maker of the world’s best-selling ear implant said it identified the manufacturing process that caused failures of its Nucleus CI500 series implants, which it hopes to return to market.

Elders Ltd. (ELD AU) rose 6.5 percent to 24.5 Australian cents after the world’s largest wool broker said it expects “much improved” financial results in 2012.

Macmahon Holdings Ltd. (MAH AU) gained 4.6 percent to 57 Australian cents after the engineering-services company raised its earnings forecast, saying it expects full-year profit to top A$55 million with more than A$1.7 billion in sales.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM AU) dropped 3.2 percent to A$30.08. Australia’s biggest gold producer cut its output forecast by 6 percent for fiscal 2011-12 yesterday because of disruptions at its Cadia Valley and Lihir mines.

--Editor: Jim Powell, John McCluskey

To contact the reporter for this story: Phoebe Sedgman in Melbourne at psedgman2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at ngentle2@bloomberg.net


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