UpdateBASF shares rise 7.1% on preliminary Q3 EBIT data

14 October 2009 15:10  [Source: ICIS news]

(Releads and adds background in paragraph 2 and analyst comments in paragraphs 9-11)

BASF CEO Jurgen HambrechtLONDON (ICIS news)--BASF's share price jumped 7.1% following the German chemical giant’s announcement on Wednesday that its third-quarter results would exceed analysts' predictions.

At 14:52 local time, BASF shares on the Xetra were trading at €40.51.

BASF posted preliminary third-quarter earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) and special items of €1.25bn ($1.87bn), down 20% on the same period last year due to weak markets.

Sales for the three-month period ending 30 September would be down 19% year on year at €12.8bn, the company added in a statement.

However, sales and EBIT figures were expected to be slightly up on the second quarter.

“The earnings improvement in the third quarter reflects BASF’s operational strength. Restructuring measures and efficiency programmes are showing effect,” the company said.

BASF said growth was evident in Asia - particularly China - and in South America.

“Overall, markets have stabilised at a low level. The recovery is slow and remains fragile,” the company added.

The figures exceeded the consensus of analysts’ estimates, according to BASF.

BASF will present its full third-quarter results including all its earning figures on 29 October.

JP Morgan Cazenove said in an analyst note that BASF’s forecasts were significantly ahead of expectations and were putting upwards pressure on forecasts.

“We will be revising them in due course. Provisionally, however, our EBIT forecast (prior to exceptions) is likely to move towards €4.0bn (ie up to a 20% potential upgrade for full-year 2009),” the note said.

The share price seemed to have moved already to reflect potential upgrades by analysts, the note added.

($1 = €0.67)

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