Hexagon Jumps as Trimble Outlook Tops Estimates: Stockholm Mover

Hexagon AB, the world’s biggest maker of measuring instruments, jumped to its highest level in six months in Stockholm after U.S. competitor Trimble Navigation Ltd. forecast higher-than-expected first-quarter profit.

Hexagon rose as much as 7.1 kronor, or 5.7 percent, to 131 kronor, and traded at 127.9 kronor as of 12:00 p.m., the highest level since Aug. 1, and was the biggest gainer on the Bloomberg Europe Machinery Index, which was up 0.5 percent. That valued the Stockholm-based company at 45.3 billion kronor ($6.75 billion).

Hexagon, scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 8, manufactures measuring instruments used in the construction of roads, bridges, buildings and mines, and benefits when global construction rises.

“Fourth-quarter results demonstrated the momentum, which was evident throughout 2011,” Trimble Chief Executive Officer Steven Berglund said on a conference call yesterday. “This momentum is carrying us into 2012 and enables us to expect another strong year, subject to strong conditionality about the revolution of the euro crisis and its effects on the world economy.”

Trimble, based in Sunnyvale, California, reported fourth-quarter adjusted earnings per share of 54 cents, compared with the average estimate of 48 cents in a Bloomberg survey of 12 analysts, and forecasts first-quarter earnings of 61 cents to 63 cents per share, compared with the average estimate of 58 cents.

Berglund said he expected 2012 to be a better year for Trimble in China and that the market there had shown some signs of becoming more “stabilized and solidified.”

Hexagon has about 28 percent of its sales in Asia, according to data compiled by Bloomberg for full-year 2010 earnings.

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