Investors flee Nufarm

Investors flee Nufarm as company endures $500 million drop in nightmare day


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Chemical giant Nufarm endured a tough day at the office on Wednesday.

Chemical giant Nufarm endured a tough day at the office on Wednesday.

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Nufarm endured a day from hell on Wednesdy, with the value of the company dropping by $500 million as a result of a 23.9pc drop in shares.

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CROP protection business Nufarm has been the latest agribusiness to fall victim to the never-ending east coast drought, with a profit downgrade sparking a horror day on the share market.

On Wednesday Nufarm revealed a $60 million earnings downgrade because of a combination of the drought and supply challenges in Europe, taking earnings before income, tax depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to a range between $440-470 million.

It also said it will have to sack between 40-50 staff, with 25 of those being told they were being made redundant this week.

The market reacted savagely, dropping Nufarm shares an incredible 23.9 per cent to $4.23.

This represented a chunk of more than $500 million wiped off the value of the business.

However, since then there has been a modest recovery of 9pc, with shares at the close of business Friday sitting at $4.63, still well down on the $5.59 on Tuesday afternoon before the bad earnings news was released.

And Nufarm is pessimistic about immediately rebounding, saying in a statement that with low subsoil moistures and the end of the summer rain season drawing to a close there were expectations of another below average season for eastern Australia.

Further compounding a horror week for the business, a second US jury found a link between the herbicide glyphosate and cancer.

Glyphosate is a key part of many of the company's popular products.

Nufarm chief executive Greg Hunt, however, spoke in defence of the product, saying there were a vast number of scientific studies that showed the product was safe to use.

Market results from other agribusinesses show that it is the drought more than the glyphosate decisions out of the US hurting Nufarm.

Elders has said it is struggling with seasonal conditions including the drought, along with northern Queensland flooding and its impact on the pastoral sector, with flooding also expected in the Gulf of Carpentaria and Pilbara regions as a result of cyclones this weekend.

GrainCorp had markedly lower income from its storage and handling unit this year due to low levels of east coast grain production and AACo has also battled with the ongoing dry.

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