OCI Shares Jump to Record in Seoul on Profit Gain; Price Estimates Raised
OCI Co., South Korea’s biggest polysilicon maker, advanced to a record in Seoul trading after quarterly profit more than doubled, prompting brokerages to raise their share-price estimates.
The stock gained 12 percent to 613,000 won at the 3 p.m. close on the Korea Exchange, the best performer on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index. The benchmark Kospi Index (KOSPI) rose 1.3 percent.
Global demand for solar power may almost double by 2015, OCI said yesterday. The Seoul-based company plans to spend 1.8 trillion won ($1.7 billion) by the end of 2013 on a new plant to make polysilicon, used in solar cells.
“Investors are betting that the company will continue to deliver strong earnings in coming quarters,” said Im Jeong Jae, a Seoul-based fund manager at Shinhan BNP Paribas Asset Management Co., which oversees $30 billion. “OCI is among the top-tier companies in terms of product quality and capacity.”
Net income rose to 327.5 billion won in the first quarter from 118.5 billion won a year earlier. Woori Investment & Securities Co., LIG Investment & Securities Co. and NH Investment & Securities Co. raised their share-price estimates, citing the first-quarter results and a stronger earnings outlook.
OCI, whose shares have tripled in the past year, isn’t alone in betting polysilicon demand will rise. LG Chem Ltd. (051910), South Korea’s biggest chemicals maker, is preparing to move into the polysilicon business, Chief Executive Officer Kim Bahn Suk said on April 19. Hanwha Chemical Corp. plans to spend 1.04 trillion won on a polysilicon plant to help more than double sales within five years, the company said on April 11.