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UPDATE 1-Oxford Instruments warns on profit, shares plunge
January 22, 2015 / 9:17 AM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Oxford Instruments warns on profit, shares plunge

(Adds details, analyst comment, share movement)

Jan 22 (Reuters) - Oxford Instruments Plc, a maker of nanotechnology tools, warned of a nearly 26 percent fall in full-year profit, citing weak trading in Russia and Japan.

Shares in the company plunged nearly 30 percent on Thursday, wiping off more than 180 million pounds of its market value.

Oxford Instruments, which makes maintenance systems and parts for CT and MRI scanners, also said it expected revenue for the second half to be below market expectations.

The company said its Russian operations suffered due to the recent sanctions and cancellation of certain export licences.

“We now assume that no sales can be made to Russia for the remainder of this year and we are also assuming no sales to Russia next year,” the company said in a statement.

At least three brokerages placed their price targets on the stock under review following the unexpected trading statement.

“Consensus is sure to drop significantly today. It becomes harder to remain positive about a share that has delivered so many reversals,” Investec analysts said in a note.

Oxford Instruments shares were the biggest losers on the FTSE Midcap index. They were down 27 percent at 803 pence per share at 0912 GMT, after touching their lowest since October 2011 earlier.

The company said it expected an adjusted pretax profit of about 35 million pounds ($53 million) for the year ending March 31, compared with 47.1 million pounds a year earlier.

Analysts on average expected a full-year pretax profit of 45.49 million pounds on revenue of 404 million pounds, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company does not break down revenue from Russia separately, but Finance Director Kevin Boyd told Reuters in November that Russia contributed about 2 percent to sales in the first half compared with 5-6 percent in previous years.

Oxford Instruments also said that its forecast recovery in the Japanese market had not yet occurred, adding to the pressure on results.

Japan accounted for about 10 percent of full-year sales, according to the company’s 2014 annual report. ($1 = 0.6607 pounds) (Reporting by Aastha Agnihotri in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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