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Auriga Drops as Long-Term Targets Put in Doubt: Copenhagen Mover

March 14 (Bloomberg) -- Auriga Industries, the biggest Danish chemicals maker, dropped the most in more than six months in Copenhagen trading after its 2012 forecast raised concern over long-term financial targets.

The Lemvig, Denmark-based company fell as much as 6.2 percent, the steepest decline since August 26. The shares fell 4.5 kroner, or 5.6 percent, to 76 kroner at 2:06 p.m. in the Danish capital.

Auriga said 2012 earnings before interest and tax will be in a range of 350 million kroner ($62 million) to 450 million kroner, missing the average estimate of 529 million kroner in a Bloomberg survey of six analysts.

“At best they’ll reach the lower end of consensus on EBIT, and that’s disappointing.” said Soeren Loentoft Hansen, an equity analyst at Sydbank A/S in Aabenraa, Denmark. “The share price drop is justified, as it questions whether the company can achieve its long-term financial targets.”

Those targets include annual sales growth of 10 percent every year after 2013 and a margin on earnings before interest taxes, depreciation and amortization of 13 percent to 18 percent. The EBITDA margin was 8.7 percent in 2011.

The maker of plant protection chemicals and spraying equipment also said 2012 revenue will be about 6 billion kroner, compared with an average estimate of 6.1 billion kroner in the survey.

Loentoft said revenue growth in the fourth quarter also disappointed, as sales dropped while crop prices were steady.

Auriga reported 2011 EBIT of 318 million kroner after having posting preliminary EBIT figures 320 million kroner on Jan. 27.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Levring in Copenhagen at plevring1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at arummer@bloomberg.net

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