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Brambles (BXB, $5.64) disappoints.  Stock falls 12%.

We warned last week of the inherent risk in these interim results, in ‘Brambles- thorny results due February 19th’. Management must have thought it prudent to release results a few days earlier than expected.

We first highlighted a negative opinion on the stock following Craig van der Laans share sale in March last year, raising GBP 700,000. Since then Brambles shares are down 41% in A$ terms, 10% points more than the AORD index. For all our comments on Brambles click here.

Bloomberg commented a few hours ago:

“Brambles Ltd.’s first-half profit dropped 28 percent, prompting the world’s biggest supplier of pallets used to move and store goods to cut operations in the U.S. and eliminate 750 jobs. Net income fell to $212.8 million in the six months to Dec. 31 from $293.7 million in the year-earlier period, Sydney-based Brambles said today in a statement.

Revenue fell 2 percent to $2.07 billion; shareholders will receive an interim dividend of 17.5 Australian cents a share. The U.S. is in the midst of a credit crisis that lies at the heart of the worst global recession since World War II. The country’s labor market has lost 3.6 million jobs since the recession started in December 2007 after companies from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to General Motors Corp. announced payroll cuts.

“Brambles is, of course, not immune to the dramatic slowdown in key markets and our results reflect this,” Chief Executive Officer Mike Ihlein said in the statement to the Australian stock exchange. “Consequently, it is important we take decisive actions now to underpin our future performance.””

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February 2009