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Fearnley Reduces LNG Rate Estimate, Maintains ‘Buy’ Rating

Rates to ship liquefied natural gas will probably be lower than expected in the fourth quarter and first three months of 2013, Fearnley Securities AS said, while reiterating its recommendation to buy the shares of the companies carrying the fuel.

The vessels will earn an average of $125,000 a day in the fourth quarter and first three months of next year, the Oslo-based investment bank said in an e-mailed report today, lowering prior estimates of $150,000. Declining LNG prices in Japan have narrowed the gap with costs in the Atlantic region, eliminating the profit from transporting the fuel to Asia, Fearnley said.

“We are still long-term positive to the LNG market,” the bank said. Shares of Golar LNG Ltd., which has the largest number of LNG tankers on order, will probably rise 19 percent to $47 within 12 months, Fearnley said. The company, based in Hamilton, Bermuda, will report earnings per share of 54 cents in the third quarter and 63 cents in the following three months, the bank estimated. It made 44 cents in the second quarter.

A colder winter in North Asia would be needed to boost shipments from the Atlantic by opening a so-called price arbitrage, Fearnley said.

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