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Evergreen Marine Rises to Two-Year High on Profit

Aug. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Evergreen Marine Corp., part of Asia’s largest container line by fleet size, surged to the highest in more than two years in Taipei trading after reporting its first quarterly profit since 2008.

The stock jumped 2 percent to NT$25.25 as of 9:46 a.m., after rising to NT$26.2, the highest since June 10, 2008.

Net income was NT$4.12 billion ($129 million) in the second quarter, compared with a loss of NT$1.98 billion a year earlier. Profit beat the NT$2.3 billion average of eight analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Second-quarter earnings were derived from first-half results announced by the Taipei-based company yesterday.

“It’s too good to be true, but it’s true,” said Peter Tzeng, a Taipei-based analyst at Polaris Securities Co., who has a “neutral” rating on the stock. “Demand for container shipping has returned to the levels before the global financial crisis.”

Evergreen Group ordered 10 new ships last month, part of plans to buy 100, as the global recovery bolsters U.S. and European demand for shipments of Asian-made clothes, toys and furniture. Neptune Orient Lines Ltd., Asia’s No. 2 container line, also posted its first profit since the third quarter of 2008 as trade rebounds from last year’s global recession.

First-half net income was NT$4.03 billion, or NT$1.27 a share, compared with a loss of NT$4.71 billion, or NT$1.54, a year earlier, Evergreen Marine said in an exchange filing yesterday.

The group operates 162 ships with a combined capacity of 610,000 standard 20-foot boxes.

Smaller competitor Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp. climbed 2.9 percent to NT$23.40. The Keelung, Taiwan-based company is scheduled to report first-half earnings before the end of the month.

The International Monetary Fund last month raised its forecast for 2010 global growth to 4.6 percent, the fastest since 2007.

To contact the reporter on this story: Weiyi Lim in Taipei at wlim26@bloomberg.net Yu-huay Sun in Taipei ysun7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Neil Denslow at ndenslow@bloomberg.net

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