AMP, Atlas, Brambles, Elders, Leighton, Paperlinx: Australian, N.Z. Stocks

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.1 percent to 4,479 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index rose 0.4 percent to 3,029.79 at the 5 p.m. close in Wellington.

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

Adelaide Brighton Ltd. (ABC AU) rose 3.6 percent to A$3.43 after the Australian producer of construction materials reported first half net income of A$68.8 million ($61 million).

AMP Ltd. (AMP AU), Australia’s second-largest asset manager, fell 4.3 percent to A$5.09 after first-half profit missed analysts’ estimates.

APN News & Media Ltd. (APN AU), a publisher of newspapers in Australia and New Zealand, climbed 2.7 percent to A$1.925. The stock was raised to “outperform” from “neutral” at Credit Suisse Group AG.

Atlas Iron Ltd. (AGO AU) declined 2.7 percent to A$2.16. The Australian iron-ore developer was downgraded to “underperform” from “neutral” at Macquarie Research.

Brambles Ltd. (BXB AU), the world’s biggest supplier of storage pallets, rose 4 percent to A$5.51 after second-half profit beat the average estimate of four analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Elders Ltd. (ELD AU), Australia’s largest rural-services supplier, jumped 15 percent to 71.5 Australian cents on speculation it could become a takeover target amid global demand for the country’s agricultural assets.

“What we are seeing is quite significant Northern Hemisphere agribusinesses looking into Australia,” Mark Simpson, an analyst at Paterson Securities Ltd. in Perth, said today by phone. “The perception is that everything is up for grabs.”

Leighton Holdings Ltd. (LEI AU) rose 1.3 percent to A$31.98. Leighton directors shortlisted two internal candidates to succeed Chief Executive Officer Wal King, the Australian newspaper reported, citing unidentified people it said were familiar with the matter.

Paperlinx Ltd. (PPX AU) lost 4.6 percent to 63 Australian cents after Australia’s largest papermaker reported a full-year loss of A$225.3 million.

New Zealand:

Mainfreight Ltd. (MFT NZ) gained 2.9 percent to NZ$6.70. New Zealand’s largest trucking company said first-quarter profit more than doubled as the recovering global economy buoyed sales.

To contact the reporters for this story: Shani Raja in Sydney at

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