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Market Update

Australian Earnings in Focus; M2 Lifts Outlook, Losses at Boart Longyear

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 9:33 AM ET August 26 2013

4:30 PM Sydney Australian resource stocks closed higher after gold touched a 3-month high. Earnings were in focus and Boart Longyear swung to a loss. Caltex Australia reported bumper first-half profit. M2 Telecom Group lifted full-year outlook. NIB Holdings annual net eased.

Australian stocks pared early gains and investors focused on earnings for the second day in a row as more companies make announcements.

Australian dollar jumped to 90.37 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover plummeted to 724 million shares worth $4.1 billion.

The ASX 200 index increased 12 to close at 5,135.40 and the broader All Ordinaries rose 11.90 to 5,127.10.

Stocks in Review

Rio Tinto slid 12 cents to $59.81 and BHP fell 6 cents to $35.58. Woodside Petroleum Limited dropped 41 cents to $37.78.

Westpac climbed 21 cents to $31.68 and National Australia Bank rose 9 cents to $32.55.

Boart Longyear Limited tumbled 11.7% to 49 cents after the drilling services provider said revenue in the first-half ending in June plunged 35% to $719 million from $1.10 billion a year ago.

Net in the period swung to a loss $329 million compared to a net profit of $98 million.

The company wrote off $175 million in goodwill and intangible assets and $42 million in rigs and ancillary equipment.

Caltex Australia Limited fell 0.1% to $18.93 and the Australia based petroleum products refiner reported revenues in the year ending in June dropped 3% to $11.5 billion from $11.8 billion a year ago period.

Net profit for the year climbed 17% to $195 million compared to $167 million and diluted earnings per share jumped 72.2 cents from 61.8 cents a year ago.

M2 Telecommunications Group Limited declined 4.8% to $6.72 after the telecommunications service provider stated revenue in the year ending in June soared 73% to $681.04 million from $393.5 a year earlier.

Net profit in the year jumped 33% to $44.05 million compared to $33.03 million a year ago.

NIB Holdings Limited slid 0.5% to $2.12 after the private health insurer reported premium revenue in the year ending in June climbed 14.8% to $1.3 billion from $1.1 billion last year.

Profit in the year edged down to $67.2 million compared to $67.6 million and $67.2 million and earnings per share grew to 15.3 cents from 14.8 cents a tear earlier.

Spark Infrastructure Group climbed 2.4% to $1.72 after the electricity network provider reported total revenue in the first-half jumped 8.2% to $871.8 million from a year earlier. Net profit for the period declined 14.3% to $$76 million compared to $$88.7 million a year ago period.

Specialty Fashion Group Limited slipped 1.1% to 87 cents after the women''s fashion retailer said revenue in the year ending in June fell 0.5% to $569.5 million from $572.5 million a year earlier.

Net in the year swung to a profit $13 million compared to a net loss of $2.8 million last year.

The fashion retailer said online sales in the year surged 50% to $21.9 million.

Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc