Appen Shares Dive After Data-Annotation Firm’s Earnings Downgrade

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By Stuart Condie

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SYDNEY–Appen Ltd. shares have lost more than 20% of their value for the third time in 2022 after the Australian data-annotation company’s latest earnings downgrade.

The ASX-listed company on Tuesday said that it is expecting a net loss of US$9.4 million for the first half of FY 2022, compared with a US$6.7 million profit a year earlier. The average analyst forecast is for a US$4.5 million net profit, according to data compiled by FactSet.

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The stock was trading 27% lower at A$4.19, putting it on course for its second-biggest one-day loss in percentage terms. The stock slumped 29% in February after Appen reported a 20% drop in FY 2021 profit and gave up 21% in May when Canadian tech company Telus International (Cda) Inc. withdraw a takeover proposal.

Including Tuesday’s losses, the seven largest one-day share-price falls in Appen’s seven-and-a-half-year history as a listed company have all come in the last 15 months.

The stock’s decline from a record A$43.50 in August 2020 has seen it ejected from Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 benchmark index. It has racked up 20 monthly losses across the last 24 months.

Earnings risks now appear to be skewed to the downside, Jefferies analyst John Campbell. Earnings visibility has historically been low and appears to have worsened in an environment of weakening global ad spend, he told clients in a note.

Write to Stuart Condie at [email protected]

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Credit: www.marketwatch.com /

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