Wienerberger AG (WIE), the world’s biggest brickmaker, rose the most in 18 months after Raiffeisen Centrobank AG said 2013 could mark the start for an earnings turnaround and recommended that investors buy the stock.
Wienerberger jumped as much as 9.7 percent to 8.75 euros, the biggest intraday gain since August 2011, and traded 8.1 percent higher at 15:12 p.m. in Vienna. The stock has advanced 25 percent this year, making it the second-best performer in Austria’s benchmark ATX Prime index. Trading volume was almost three times the three-month daily average.
“Despite the still cautious message on the demand momentum in several main markets, it seems that hopes for a bottoming out are increasingly warranted,” Markus Remis, a Raiffeisen analyst based in the Austrian capital, wrote in a note to clients. “The envisaged cost savings should stabilize earnings.” He raised his price estimate to 10 euros from 6.80 euros and changed his rating on the stock to buy from hold.
Wienerberger reported a fourth-quarter net loss of 93.7 million euros ($123 million) this week after European residential construction, on which its main business depends, shrank 3.5 percent last year. The company plans to cut costs by 50 million euros by the end of 2014, which caused one-time charges of 43 million euros last year. It forecasts earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of 280 million euros this year.
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