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Whitehaven Falls After Flagging Earnings Drop: Sydney Mover

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Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Whitehaven Coal Ltd., the producer that counts Nathan Tinkler as its largest shareholder, fell the most in five months after flagging first-half earnings will drop on lower prices and the high Australian dollar.

Whitehaven, subject of an unsuccessful A$5.3 billion ($5.5 billion) takeover proposal from Tinkler last year, declined 5.5 percent to A$3.28, the most since Aug. 24, at the close in Sydney.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization in the six months to Dec. 31 will be less than A$10 million, the Sydney-based company said today in a statement. It reported Ebitda of A$58 million in the same period last year.

The company said Editda will stay at similarly depressed levels during the second half of fiscal 2013 if coal markets and the Australian dollar remain unchanged. First-half profit after tax will also be cut by a writedown of coal inventory, asset adjustments after the company mothballed a mine and a train derailment disrupted operations last month.

Power-station coal at the Australian port of Newcastle, a benchmark grade for Asia, slid to $94.29 a metric ton in 2012 from more than $120 in 2011, according to data from IHS McCloskey.

Editors: Keith Gosman, Iain Wilson

To contact the reporter on this story: Elisabeth Behrmann in Sydney at ebehrmann1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jason Rogers at jrogers73@bloomberg.net

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