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Anglo Extends Decline in London After ‘Terrible’ First Half

Anglo American Plc, the worst performer among London-listed diversified mining companies this year, added to declines after first-half profit fell 46 percent.

The stock slid as much as 2 percent to 1,856.5 pence, after dropping 3.6 percent on July 27 as earnings missed forecasts. Anglo had a “terrible” first half, Jefferies International Ltd. analysts including Christopher LaFemina said in a note.

Anglo traded at 1,889 pence by 10:48 a.m. in London, with the FTSE 350 Mining Index up 1 percent. The company has fallen 21 percent this year while Xstrata Plc declined 14 percent, BHP dropped 0.8 percent and Rio Tinto Group sank 6.2 percent.

“Ongoing problems at Minas Rio and Anglo Platinum, continued cost inflation and a lack of free cash flow generation have us concerned about the Anglo American investment case,” the Jefferies analysts said. Anglo’s underlying earnings, which exclude one-time items, dropped to $1.69 billion, or $1.38 a share, from $3.12 billion, or $2.58 a share a year earlier.

The miner said metal price declines and rising costs led to the falling profit, adding that the start-up of its largest project, the Minas Rio iron ore site in Brazil, may be delayed by a year. Anglo is reviewing its platinum unit, which has idled mines, in anticipation of continued weak prices.

First-half earnings excluding one-time items dropped 46 percent to $1.69 billion, or $1.38 a share. That compares with the $1.57-a-share median estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Naxitis cut its recommendation on the stock to neutral from buy. Societe Generale SA, SBG Securities (Pty) Ltd., Investec Ltd. and Jefferies cut their 2012 earnings forecasts after the profit decline. The mean estimate of 24 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg is for $3.30 a share compared with $5.85 at the start of the year. London Metals Exchange Index prices fell an average 17 percent in the first half from a year earlier as Europe’s debt crisis dimmed the outlook for raw-materials demand.

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