July 11 (Bloomberg) — Fred Olsen Energy ASA, an offshore drilling company, climbed to a five-year high in Oslo as a better-than-estimated performance during the first six months boosted projections for the rest of the year.
The shares rose as much as 14 percent to 297.4 kroner, the highest intraday level since July 9, 2008. They traded 8.9 percent higher as of 2:59 p.m. in the Norwegian capital, making it the biggest gainer on the Bloomberg European 500 Index. More than 428,000 shares have been traded so far today, about four times the daily average volume during the last three months.
Better-than-estimated first-half earnings per share of 15 kroner ($2.47) indicate that full-year earnings could beat the 30 kroner that’s currently being estimated, Pareto Securities AS said in an e-mailed note. Sales surpassed estimates by 4 percent and costs were 1 percent lower, said the broker, which has a buy recommendation and a 300 kroner price target on the stock.
Second-quarter earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization rose to 934.6 million kroner ($153.9 million) from 791.3 million kroner a year earlier, beating the 874.5 million kroner average of 13 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The global market outlook “remains positive for floating units,” supported by rising oil demand and “sustainable” prices, the company said.
Like Norwegian competitor Seadrill Ltd., Fred Olsen is expanding and upgrading its fleet to take advantage of increased investment in offshore exploration. The company, which owns deepwater drilling rigs and semi-submersible vessels, has a ultra-deepwater drillship due in 2013 and an ultra-deepwater semi-submersible due in early 2015 under construction.
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