Nippon Yusen, K-Line Climb on Profit Forecasts: Tokyo Mover

Nippon Yusen K.K. and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd., two of Japan’s three biggest shipping lines, rose in Tokyo trading after predicting better-than-expected earnings this fiscal year.

K-Line climbed 4.9 percent, the most in three weeks, to close at 170 yen. Nippon Yusen rose 2.2 percent to 238 yen. Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. declined 1 percent after its profit forecast trailed analyst estimates.

All three shipping lines expect to make profits in the year started April 1, compared with year-earlier losses, because of rising rates for carrying containers and increasing car shipments. Nippon Yusen this month said its auto shipments will be the highest in five years as demand surges in North America and plants in Thailand recover from floods.

The shipping line predicted a profit 23 billion yen ($283 million) this fiscal year, surpassing the 18.2 billion yen average of 16 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The company also said it expects a profit of 65 billion yen next fiscal year and of 115 billion yen in fiscal year 2016.

K-Line, Japan’s No. 3 shipping line, predicted an 11 billion yen profit. Analysts had forecast a 4 billion yen loss. Mitsui O.S.K. forecast a 3 billion yen profit, trailing the 14.5 billion yen estimate.

The Japanese lines are still contending with plunging rates for dry-bulk shipments and rising fuel costs. The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of commodity-shipping prices, has fallen 8.8 percent in the past year.

The price of 380 Centistoke marine bunker fuel, used by ships, traded at $718 a metric ton in Singapore yesterday. It reached a more than three-and-a-half-year high of $745 in February.

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