Friday, May 18, 2018

Signposts: "Maersk warns on trade risks as disappointing first quarter earnings hit share price"

The writers take an interesting look beyond the numbers.
From Reuters, May 17:
A.P. Moller-Maersk (MAERSKb.CO) missed first-quarter profit expectations on Thursday and warned that political and trade tensions clouded the outlook, sending shares in the world’s biggest container shipper sharply lower.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the three months to March 31 rose 5 percent to $669 million but came in well below the $852 million forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.

Chief Executive Soren Skou called the result “unsatisfactory” but said he still expected EBITDA for the year at $4 billion-$5 billion.

Maersk shares fell almost 12 percent after the results to near 18-month lows, although quarterly revenue at $9.3 billion topped analysts’ forecasts of $8.8 billion.

By 1241 GMT the shares were down 8.8 percent at 9,262 Danish crowns.

Analysts at Jefferies said disappointment stemmed in part from “relatively sluggish underlying volume growth” of 2.2 percent, short of an expected increase of 3-4 percent.

Container freight rates rose 7 percent, but the cost of shipping a container increased 12 percent, partly as a result of higher oil prices, Skou said....MORE