Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (HDD), the world’s largest printing-press maker, had the biggest gain in three months in Frankfurt trading as a digital partnership with Fujifilm Corp. signaled the company is moving beyond cost cuts to boost its profit margins.
The shares gained as much as 11 percent, the biggest intraday increase since Aug. 13, to 2.15 euros. Trading volume was more than double the three-month daily average.
Heidelberger Druck’s first foray into digital printing ended in 2004, when it aborted a five-year experiment by selling its digital business to Eastman Kodak Co. after losses ballooned. Chief Executive Officer Gerold Linzbach, who took the helm a year ago, is targeting digital sales potential of more than 200 million euros ($270 million) within three years from today’s partnership.
“Heidelberger Druck isn’t out of the woods yet, but the new CEO’s signature is clearly visible,” said Holger Schmidt, an analyst at Equinet AG in Frankfurt with a buy rating on the stock, by phone. “It’s all going in the right direction. The full picture is clearly a positive one.”
The company, based in Heidelberg, affirmed its forecast to generate a profit for the year ending March 31 after narrowing its loss in the second quarter to 9 million euros from 31 million euros. Under the terms of the partnership, Heidelberger Druck will gain access to Fujifilm’s inkjet technology and its partner will in return benefit from the German company’s engineering and manufacturing activities, Heidelberger Druck said.
“This marks a significant step forward in our corporate strategy,” Linzbach said in a statement. “Our goal is to also become a global player in the digital printing applications market.”
The stock, which lost 29 percent of its value in the five years through Oct. 31 compared with a 104 percent increase in the CDAX Index that represents all companies listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, was up 8.8 percent as of 11:18 a.m.
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