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PGNiG Jumps to 5-Year High on UniCredit Upgrade: Warsaw Mover

Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo SA, Poland’s biggest gas distributor, jumped to the highest level in almost five years as UniCredit SpA recommended buying its shares on speculation that increased oil and gas production will boost earnings.

The stock advanced 2.7 percent to 5 zloty in Warsaw, the highest since January 2008 as UniCredit upgraded PGNiG, as the company is known, to buy from hold and raised its price estimate to 5.42 zloty from 4.42 zloty.

“PGNiG offers attractive medium-term growth in exploration and production,” Flawiusz Pawluk, head of equity research at UniCredit in Warsaw, said in a note. “In addition, the company owns exciting unconventional gas acreages in Poland and trades at fairly attractive valuations.”

Oil production may increase “more than 130 percent” by 2014, according to UniCredit. Exploration of oil and gas from Norway’s Skarv project will help generate net cash of as much as 1.2 billion zloty ($386 million) annually.

The Warsaw-based company’s net income will probably climb to 2.74 billion zloty next year from 2 billion zloty seen in 2012, according to UniCredit estimates.

The Warsaw-based utility plans to update its strategy and to double its gas exploration “in several years,” Dziennik Gazeta Prawna reported today, citing Chief Executive Officer Grazyna Piotrowska-Oliwa. PGNiG’s annual gas production amounts now to 4.5 billion cubic meters of gas.

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