Ausenco (AAX) has suffered its worst fall on record this morning after downgrading its earnings guidance for the full year.
The engineering company's shares fell 31% to $2.49 in the first few minutes of trade following its announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange that net profit after tax is now expected to be $29 million and $41 million, down from its last guidance of between $37 million and $42 million announced in May.
Ausenco expects earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to be between $15 and $16 million for the first half of 2013 – half of what analysts were estimating at around $29 million, according to Bloomberg.
Ausenco expects revenues for the first half to be $255 million and full-year revenues to be between $564 and $661 million.
Ausenco blamed further softening of the market conditions since May, when it had said the business environment was reverting back to normal.
"Since then we have seen a number of clients announce reduced capital expenditure programs, large asset write-downs and program to dispose of non-core or underperforming assets," Ausenco said.
However, the company expects greater earnings from the downturn in the Australian dollar into 2014 as it derives 70% of its revenues from overseas. It also anticipates growth for its global capital development assignments, with a trebling of new assignments to commence mid-2014.