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Market Update

Australian Stocks Advance; Brambles, Lend Lease, MacMahon, Vocation in Focus


Author: Marcus Jacob
ticker.com
Last Update: 9:16 AM ET February 23 2015

5:30 PM Sydney Australian market indexes closed higher and domestic earnings news dominated headlines. Brambles said first-half revenues rose 5%. Boart Longyear Ltd reported narrower loss but cautioned on earnings. MacMahon Holdings plunged 37% after losing a contract with iron ore miner Fortescue.

Australian market indexes opened higher and built more gains in the session on a broad advance across all sectors but resource stocks.

Investors focused on Greek debt negotiations and the ongoing turmoil in the euro zone and also on the domestic earnings.

Australian dollar closed at 78.34 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover added to 785 million shares worth $4.1 billion.

ASX 200 Index rose 26.50 or 0.4% to 5,908 and broader All Ordinaries Index gained 26.80 to 5,872.40.

In commodities trading, gold slid US$3 to US$1,205 an ounce and light crude oil slipped US$1.02 to US$50.81 a barrel.

Brent crude edged down 0.04 cents to close at US$60.18 a barrel.

Australian Stock Movers

Brambles Limited slid 0.2% to $10.70 after the logistics company said revenues in the first-half ending in December climbed 5% to US$2.80 billion form US$2.67 billion a year ago period

Net income in the period plunged 70.2% to US$285.3 million compared to US$959 million and diluted earnings per share declined to 18.2 cents from 61.2 cents in the same period a year ago.

Boart Longyear Limited climbed 5% to 21 cents after the drilling service provider said revenues in the year ending in December plunged 29% to $866.6 million form $1.2 billion a year ago period.

Net loss in the year narrowed to $332.7 million compared to $619.9 million and diluted loss per share decreased to 70.8 cents from 136.1 cents in the same period a year ago.

Huon Aquaculture Group Ltd closed unchanged at $4.85 after the salmon producer stated revenues in the first-half ending in December jumped 4.5% to $98.8 million form $94.5 million a year ago period.

Net income in the period soared 11.2% to $25.9 million compared to $23.3 million and diluted earnings per share increased to 36.5 cents from 38.1 cents in the same period a year ago.

Lend Lease Group gained 0.9% to $17 after the property and infrastructure developer reported revenues in the first-half ending in December declined 9.4% to $5.90 billion form $6.51 billion a year ago period

Net income in the period surged 25.3% to $315.3 million compared to $251.6 million and diluted earnings per share jumped to 54.5 cents from 43.7 cents in the same period a year ago.

Vocation Limited plunged 50% to 13 cents after the education and training services business wrote down $245 million and said that the company is reviewing proposals of purchase interest for various parts of its business.

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