Australia, New Zealand Stocks: Devine, Macarthur, Virgin Blue

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index (AS51) rose 1.6 percent to 4,017.20 in Sydney, the highest close since Nov. 10. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index (NZSE50FG) rose 1.2 percent to 2,840.63 in Wellington.

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

Australian Agricultural Co. (AAC) slumped 5.3 percent to A$1.525. The Australian cattle producer and breeder said it doesn’t expect to generate a profit in the first half of 2009, or potentially in the second half, because of unpredictable cattle prices.

Devine Ltd. (DVN) , a homebuilder, dropped 6.4 percent to 44 Australian cents. The company cut its fiscal 2009 net profit forecast to between A$15 million ($12 million) and A$17 million from a previous target of between A$23 million and A$25 million, due to the deferral of a project in Brisbane.

Macarthur Coal Ltd. (MCC AU) shares rose 3.8 percent to A$6.92, the highest close since Nov. 5. The company, the world’s biggest exporter of pulverized coal, said renewed demand from China meant it would beat its previous full-year sales forecast.

Terramin Australia Ltd. (TZN) soared 17 percent to 94.5 Australian cents, its highest since Oct. 15. The zinc mining company said China Non-ferrous Metal Industry’s Foreign Engineering & Construction Co. has received approval from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board for a $10 million investment in Terramin.

Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd. (VBA AU) climbed 9.8 percent to 33.5 Australian cents, the highest close since April 15. Australia’s second-biggest airline may start flights between Sydney and Tokyo within 18 months in anticipation of a rebound in international travel demand, Richard Branson, the billionaire who owns about 25 percent of the carrier, said in an interview.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shani Raja in Sydney at sraja4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Darren Boey at dboey@bloomberg.net.

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