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Qatar Navigation’s Second-Quarter Profit Falls 32%

Qatar Navigation Co., a freight transportation company, reported a worse-than-expected 32 percent drop in second-quarter net income as it lost money on revenue from investments.

The shares dropped the most in two months today after net income fell to 126.9 million riyals ($34.9 million) from 184.5 million riyals in the same quarter of 2009, according to Bloomberg calculations based on the Doha-based company’s first-half earnings. EFG-Hermes Brokerage estimated a quarterly income of 225 million riyals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Qatar Navigation, which bought Qatar Shipping Co. earlier this year, announced its earnings on the Qatar Exchange website.

Qatar Navigation reported a 34.3 million riyal loss in “investment and interest revenue” for the three months ending June 30, according to Bloomberg calculations.

“The investment income line, that’s come in behind,” said Redwan Ahmed, an equities analyst in Dubai at EFG-Hermes Holding SAE, speaking by phone. “The market has been weak.”

Net income for the first half of the year jumped to 681.5 million riyals from 347.6 million riyals for the same six months of 2009, the company said in a statement to the Qatari bourse.

Qatar Navigation said the profit included a gain of 236 million riyals on its acquisition of Qatar Shipping. Qatar Navigation bought Qatar Shipping in an all-share transaction in January, acquiring 2.2 shares in Qatar Shipping for every Qatar Navigation share.

Qatar is the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas. The International Monetary Fund forecasts that its economy will expand this year by 19 percent, the fastest growth in the world.

Qatar Navigation “should benefit from that growth in the economy,” Ahmed said. “We expect that momentum to continue into the second half of the year.”

Qatar Navigation’s shares fell 4.7 percent to 80.4 riyals a share on the Qatar Exchange today, the biggest decline since May 25. The stock has gained 24 percent this year, the second- biggest gain on the QE Index of leading Qatari companies behind the shares of National Leasing Co.

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