Securitas AB (SECUB), the world’s second-biggest guarding services provider, soared the most in more than two years in Stockholm after the company reported earnings and profit margins that beat analyst estimates.
The shares jumped as much as 8.8 percent to 70.8 kronor, their steepest advance since June 27, 2011 and the highest price since May 4 the same year. The stock added 7.8 percent to 70.15 kronor as of 12:09 p.m. local time, with trading volume at almost twice the daily average in the past three months.
Securitas today said second-quarter profit jumped 41 percent to 461.1 million kronor ($70.3 million), beating the average 436.7 million-krona estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Sales of 16.5 billion kronor matched estimates. The operating margin rose to 4.9 percent from 4.2 percent.
Securitas posted a “solid report with European margin surprise,” Catrin Jansson, an analyst at Nordea Bank AB in Stockholm, wrote in a note today, adding that she expects “minor positive consensus earnings-per-share revisions.”
“The Ebita margin was up 70 basis points year on year, with Europe showing the biggest improvement at 100 basis points,” Jansson said. “We still believe that there is room for selective M&A activity and healthy dividends.”
Securitas said today it plans to triple security solutions and technology’s share of total sales by the end of 2015, from the 6 percent those areas accounted for in 2012. The Swedish security company also said that a U.S. law requiring employers to offer health-care benefits to full-time employees has been delayed by one year until 2015.
That is “positive news for Securitas as it now has more time to adjust its offer and pricing to absorb the upcoming additional costs,” Jansson said. She has a hold rating on Securitas and a price estimate of 65 kronor.
Of 20 analysts covering Securitas that share their recommendations with Bloomberg, 35 percent have buy ratings while 25 percent rate it hold and 40 percent have sell recommendations.
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