MARKETS SPECTATOR: Adelaide Brighton flight

An earnings warning has caused the building materials company Adelaide Brighton to slide, prompting Citigroup to downgrade the stock.

Adelaide Brighton shares have fallen as much as 4.3 per cent today after the building materials company warned of weak demand prompting its stock to be downgraded by Citigroup.

At 1:17pm AEST Adelaide Brighton had dropped 13 cents, or 3.8 per cent, to $3.33 after falling as low as $3.31.

At its annual general meeting yesterday, the world’s ninth biggest lime producer warned of “weak demand in the building and construction sector”, particularly in the eastern states Queensland and Victoria. It forecast cement and clinker sales to be lower in 2013 compared with 2012 with energy costs to increase.

Citigroup analyst Ross Barrows downgraded the stock to 'neutral' from 'buy'. Barrows’ target price for the stock is $3.67. But he has lowered his 2013 net profit forecast by 1 per cent, to $152.5 million.

Adelaide Brighton has its own clinker and cement plants. It also imports blast furnace slag as well as clinker and cement.