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Caltex Australia Falls Most in Year on First-Half Forecast

Caltex Australia Ltd., the nation’s biggest oil refiner, fell the most in more than a year after the company forecast a drop in first-half operating profit because of plant disruptions and higher crude prices.

The shares slid 78 cents, or 6.9 percent, to A$10.60 at the 4:10 p.m. close in Sydney trading. That’s the biggest percentage decline since May 5, 2010. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.7 percent.

Caltex Australia, half-owned by San Ramon, California-based Chevron Corp., forecast operating profit of A$110 million to A$115 million ($122 million) in the six months ending June 30. This compares with A$149 million in the previous corresponding period. The figure excludes the effect of changes in oil prices on the value of crude in the company’s stockpiles.

Extended planned maintenance at the company’s Kurnell refinery in New South Wales and unplanned outages at its Lytton plant in Queensland has cut production levels, Caltex Australia said in a statement today.

The margin on processing crude into products was “negatively impacted” by the Dated Brent prices and premiums driven by events in Libya and Japan, Caltex Australia said.

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