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Mining services firms slip on ASX200

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AAP

2012-12-07

Mining services and media outlets are slipping down the ASX top 200 companies list, with digital sales and travel businesses replacing them.

December's changes to the S&P/ASX 200 were announced on Friday, with mining services company Boart Longyear and Seven West Media falling and Carsales.com and Flight Centre among the winners.

Many mining services companies have faced tough conditions over recent months as weakening commodity prices have seen resource sector capital expenditure slashed.

On the same day in August that mining services provider Boart Longyear posted a record annual profit, it had to cut its profit guidance.

It is one of three companies that was removed from S&P/ASX 100 on Friday.

Fellow mining services company Macmahon Holdings dropped out of the S&P/ASX 200 after facing a similar year.

Patersons Securities analyst Simon Tonkin said it was a sector-wide issue, with mining services companies bearing the brunt of falling commodity prices.

"They're losing contracts. Basically it's a downturn as the mining companies are cutting back on capital expenditure," he said.

Media companies have also faced problems recently as the move to digital has caused a loss of revenue for newspaper publishers and television stations.

Seven West Media, the owner of Seven Television, The West Australian newspaper and Pacific Magazines, had fallen from the S&P/ASX 100 and regional newspaper publisher APN Newspapers dropped from the S&P/ASX 200.

RBS Morgans private client adviser Bill Bishop said the structural changes were affecting all media companies.

"The consumer is doing everything online now and advertising has disappeared from the print media," he said.

However, the move to digital advertising had benefited Carsales.com as it picked up business from diminishing newspaper classifieds and has now entered the S&P/ASX 100.

For travel business Flight Centre, a high Australian dollar had encouraged more international travel elevating the company into the S&P/ASX 100.

"The volume of travel is enormous," Mr Bishop said.

"People are travelling overseas so much because of the high Australian dollar."

Uranium miner Paladin Energy had dropped out of the S&P/ASX 100 as the nuclear accident in Japan in March, 2011 scared governments from building reactors.

"Paladin Energy has suffered from a diminished demand for uranium," Mr Bishop said.

Mr Bishop said internet provider iiNet was another entrant into the S&P/ASX 200 as more Australians looked for alternatives to the large telcos for their broadband or wireless.

Kylie Williams