Aurubis AG, the second-biggest refined copper producer, slumped by the most in more than two years in Frankfurt trading after lowering its earnings outlook.
Aurubis tumbled 7.4 percent, the biggest slump since Jan. 13, 2011, to close at 45.645 euros. Trading volumes were more than four times the three-month daily average.
Profit in the year through September is “expected to be below last year’s earnings due to weakness on the acid and copper scrap markets,” the Hamburg-based company said today in a statement. Chief Financial Officer Erwin Faust had said in December that earnings would hold steady.
Copper companies have seen profit margins squeezed after weakening European demand and slowing Chinese growth cut prices. Copper on the London Metal Exchange has dropped 8.7 percent this year. Aurubis today said pretax operating profit was almost wiped out in the fiscal second quarter, declining to 1 million euros ($1.3 million) from 87 million euros a year earlier.
“The mixed set of numbers with a cautious outlook is slightly below expectations,” Christian Obst, an analyst at Baader Bank AG, said by phone from Munich. “That happens frequently in the industry at the moment, which is characterized by strong cyclical patterns.”
Aurubis, second only to Chile’s Codelco in production of refined copper, has “reached the lowest point,” Obst said.