Australian, N.Z. Equities: Qantas, Seven, West Media, Telstra
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 0.1 percent to 4,167.60 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index (NZSE50FG) rose 0.6 percent to 3,287.52 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.
Gold producers: Gold futures for December delivery fell 1.6 percent on the Comex in New York yesterday.
Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM) , Australia’s biggest gold producer, fell 0.4 percent to A$40.38. Rival St. Barbara Ltd. (SBM AU) dropped 3 percent to A$1.93.
BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) erased losses to close unchanged at A$38.21 after the world’s largest mining company reported full-year net income of $23.6 billion, beating analyst forecasts.
Mesoblast Ltd. (MSB) , which develops stem-cell treatments, advanced 5.3 percent to A$7.55. The company reported its first full-year profit since going public in 2004 after selling marketing rights for experimental therapies.
Minara Resources Ltd. (MRE) , a nickel producer, surged 37 percent to 87.5 Australian cents. Glencore International Plc, the world’s largest listed commodity trader, offered A$270 million ($284 million) in cash to buy the shares it doesn’t already own in Minara.
Pacific Brands Ltd. (PBG) jumped 14 percent to 71.5 Australian cents after Australia’s biggest clothing maker reported full-year results and announced a share buyback.
Seven West Media Ltd. (SWM AU) surged 18 percent to A$3.12 after the media company reported that full-year net income climbed to A$115.1 million.
Primary Health Care Ltd. (PRY) rose 2.5 percent to A$2.87. The medical-tests provider was raised to “outperform” from “underperform” at Macquarie Group Ltd.
Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN) , Australia’s biggest airline, slipped 1.3 percent to A$1.52. The airline suffered an 83 percent slump in second-half profit as natural disasters on three continents slashed travel and outweighed higher fares.
Suncorp Group Ltd. (SUN AU) gained 5.6 percent to A$7.59. The Australian lender and insurer posted full-year profit that beat analysts’ estimates as the worst period of natural disasters on record in its home state of Queensland led to a 42 percent earnings drop.
Telstra Corp. (TLS AU) advanced 1.7 percent to A$3.06. Speculation is growing that Telstra will undertake a “sizable” share buyback if shareholders approve its deal with NBN Co., the government-backed company building a national broadband fiber network, the Australian Financial Review reported in its Street Talk column.
The paper cited unnamed fund managers. Telstra agreed in June to a compensation package in return for progressively handing over its fixed-line assets to NBN.
WorleyParsons Ltd. (WOR) jumped 10 percent to A$26.07 after the engineering group reported full-year net income of A$364.2 million. Analysts had forecast annual profit of A$297.8 million.
Wotif.com Holdings Ltd. (WTF) , which provides online travel services, dropped 9.6 percent to A$4.07. The company reported full-year net income of A$50.96 million, less than analysts’ estimates of A$52.8 million.
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