November 15, 2019 / 11:24 AM / 20 days ago

UPDATE 1-Elekta shares stung by earnings miss, lower margin forecast

* Delayed deliveries, slower order growth in Q2

* Core Q2 profit unexpectedly shrinks

* Shares slide to 6-month lows (Recasts, adds detail, analyst comment, background)

STOCKHOLM, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Shares in Swedish radiation therapy equipment maker Elekta fell 12% on Friday after it missed its second quarter earnings target and cut its full-year profitability forecast.

Elekta said delayed installation starts and currency translation effects had squeezed its earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) margin in the three months through October, its fiscal second quarter.

The company said in a statement that it therefore now saw an EBITA margin of around 18% in its full year, down from earlier guidance of around 19%.

“With the already strong installation plan for the second half we do not see a way to fully recover the delayed installations from the second quarter in the rest of the year,” it said, however standing by sales guidance of 8-10%.

Elekta, which is due to publish its full quarterly report on Nov. 28, said EBITA undershot its expectations, dropping to around 540 million crowns ($56 mln) from 601 million a year ago, with the margin narrowing to 14.5% from 18.0%.

Analysts had on average expected 700 million crowns, according to a poll on Elekta’s website.

Elekta, which is banking on its new Unity radiation system to help drive future growth, said it had booked six orders for the system in the quarter. Group gross order growth however slowed to 5%, from 32% in the first quarter.

“Stripping out Unity it appears the underlying business has seen a strong contraction – we estimate a high single digit decline year-on-year,” said J.P.Morgan Cazenove analysts, who have an “underweight” rating on Elekta’s shares.

“We suspect the order growth in the quarter is being seen as disappointing,” said the analysts, who had forecast 14% growth.

Elekta shares traded at 6-month lows of 126.75 crowns at 1100 GMT. ($1 = 9.7061 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Alexander Smith)

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