Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC), the world’s largest petrochemical maker, rose to the highest level since May after crude oil advanced for a third week in New York, fueling bets first-quarter results may improve.
Shares of the company known as Sabic rose 2.4 percent to 96.5 riyals, the highest since May 14, at the close in Riyadh. The stock was the biggest advancer on the benchmark Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX), which gained 0.6 percent to 7,137.54, the highest level since Jan. 12. Sabic will probably post first-quarter results on April 16, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“We’re approaching the end of the first quarter and there may be expectations for better results,” said Muhammad Faisal Potrik, an analyst at Riyad Capital. “Petrochemicals prices are slightly better.”
Sabic may post a 14 percent increase in 2013 earnings, according to the mean estimate of 14 analysts on Bloomberg, after last year’s profit declined 15 percent. Crude oil last week rose 0.3 percent, to $93.71 a barrel in New York on March 22 in the third week of gains, on signs that Cyprus is moving closer to a deal to stave off financial collapse and as the U.S. economy improved.
Sabic shares have gained 7.5 percent this quarter compared with a rally of 11 percent for Industries Qatar QSC (IQCD), the Middle East’s second-largest petrochemicals maker. Sabic has a 12-month dividend yield of 5.2 percent, compared with 3.7 percent for Dow Chemical Co. (DOW), the biggest U.S. chemical maker, and a dividend yield of 3.5 percent for the Tadawul.
Fourteen analysts recommend investors buy the shares of Sabic, while two have a hold rating on the stock, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
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