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Stockland Shares Decline on Lower Profit Forecast: Sydney Mover

Stockland, Australia’s biggest diversified property trust, sank by the most in more than two months after forecasting a 10 percent decline in earnings per share in the year ending June 30, and sluggish conditions in the housing market.

Stockland shares fell 3.7 percent to A$3.42 at the close of trading in Sydney, the most since Aug. 8. They’ve risen 7.2 percent this year, compared with a 12 percent gain in the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index.

Profit at the Sydney-based company’s residential business will be A$50 million ($51.4 million) lower this year than last, according to a regulatory filing of statements made at its annual shareholder meeting. If conditions in Victoria state, where profit per lot is typically higher than in other parts of the country, don’t improve, Stockland’s earnings per share could be a further 5 percent lower, it said.

The forecast comes as the company continues its search for a new managing director to replace Matthew Quinn, who will step down in February. Stockland will maintain its 24 cent dividend for the 12 months ending June 30. The payout will equate to between 90 percent and 95 percent of underlying profit this year, it said.

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