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Transfield Slumps After Cutting Full-Year Forecast

Feb. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Transfield Services Ltd., an Australian engineering company, fell the most in almost six months in Sydney trading after cutting its full-year profit forecast by as much as 37 percent because of weak demand.

Transfield slumped 5.9 percent to close at A$1.82, the largest decline since Aug. 29, compared with a 1 percent drop in the S&P/ASX 200 index. The stock has fallen 24 percent in the past year, while the benchmark has climbed 17 percent.

The company posted a record half-year loss today and said falling earnings at the Easternwell mineral exploration business and the Timec oil-refinery unit would lead to profit excluding one-time items of between A$85 million ($87 million) and A$90 million in the 12 months ending June. That’s less than its Aug. 29 forecast of A$125 million to A$135 million, and the A$107 million average of 14 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

“We expect investors to remain concerned about the future earnings ability, and therefore continued carrying value, of Easternwell,” Anthony Passe-de Silva, an analyst with JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Sydney, wrote in a note Feb. 19. A recovery is “unlikely to come through in the near term” at Easternwell, as mineral companies scale back spending plans, he wrote.

The net loss in the six months ended Dec. 30 totaled A$247 million, driven by A$275 million in impairments to Easternwell and Timec, the company said.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Fickling in Sydney at dfickling@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anjali Cordeiro at acordeiro2@bloomberg.net

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