ASX, Leighton, Lynas, National Bank: Australian Stock Preview

The following is a list of companies whose shares may rise or fall in Australia. This preview includes news announced after markets closed. All prices are from yesterday’s close unless otherwise stated.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index futures contract due in December slipped 0.1 percent to 4,685 as of 6:57 a.m. in Sydney. The Bank of New York Australia ADR Index lost 0.8 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.5 percent to 4,687.80.

Aquarius Platinum Ltd. (AQP AU): The world’s fourth-largest producer of the precious metal said profit climbed more than fourfold in the fiscal first quarter as output advanced. The shares gained 2.2 percent to A$6.10.

Aristocrat Leisure Ltd. (ALL AU): The world’s second-largest maker of slot machines was raised to “outperform” from “underperform” at Credit Suisse Group AG. The shares dropped 2 percent to A$3.48.

ASX Ltd. (ASX AU): Australia’s main stock exchange might lose listings and relevance if Singapore Exchange Ltd.’s bid for the Australian stock exchange operator is blocked, the Australian newspaper reported, citing former ASX Chairman Maurice Newman.

Separately, Tokyo Stock Exchange Group Inc. yesterday said Singapore Exchange’s plan to combine with ASX isn’t favorable for the Tokyo bourse, which owns almost 5 percent of its Singapore rival. ASX shares slumped 7.4 percent to A$38.67 yesterday.

Beach Energy Ltd. (BPT AU): The Australian oil and gas producer was raised to “accumulate” from “hold” at E.L. & C. Baillieu Stockbroking Ltd. Beach shares were unchanged at 65.5 Australian cents.

Clough Ltd. (CLO AU): The Australian engineering company was downgraded to “underperform” from “outperform” at Credit Suisse Group AG. Its shares plunged 10 percent to 72.5 Australian cents.

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (FMG AU): The iron-ore producer sold $2.04 billion of five-year notes in the seventh-largest U.S. high-yield corporate bond offering this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The stock gained 0.5 percent to A$6.58.

Leighton Holdings Ltd. (LEI AU): Leighton has won new projects and contract renewals in Australia and Asia with a combined total value of 607 million euros ($841 million), Hochtief AG, the company’s Essen, Germany-based parent, said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. Shares of Leighton, Australia’s biggest construction company, slipped 0.7 percent to A$37.85.

Lynas Corp Ltd. (LYC AU): The rare earths developer was downgraded to “neutral” from “overweight” at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Its shares slumped 6 percent to A$1.56.

National Australia Bank Ltd. (NAB AU): The nation’s biggest business lender said today that business banking rebounded and bad debts fell as it posted a return to second-half profit, reporting net income of A$2.13 billion ($2.1 billion). Its shares lost 1 percent to A$24.75.

Oil Search Ltd. (OSH AU): Papua New Guinea’s largest oil and gas producer was downgraded to “neutral” from “outperform” at Credit Suisse Group AG. The stock fell 0.5 percent to A$6.49.

PanAust Ltd. (PNA AU): The owner of the second-largest copper mine in Laos was downgraded to “hold” from “buy” at Deutsche Bank AG. The shares advanced 1.3 percent to 81 Australian cents.

Toll Holdings Ltd. (TOL AU): Chief Executive Officer Paul Little is expected to retire next year, the Australian newspaper reported, without citing anyone. Toll shares declined 1 percent to A$6.64.

WorleyParsons Ltd. (WOR AU): The Australian engineering group was downgraded to “hold” from “buy” at Deutsche Bank AG. The stock dropped 3.6 percent to A$22.36.

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