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Chr. Hansen Gains Amid Bets on Share Buy Back: Copenhagen Mover

Chr. Hansen A/S rose the most among Copenhagen’s benchmark stocks today after Nordea Bank AB said the Danish food-ingredient maker may buy back shares in 2013.

Chr. Hansen rose as much as 2.3 percent, the most since Dec. 20. The stock gained 1.7 percent to 190.20 kroner at 12:42 p.m. in the Danish capital, making it the biggest winner on the Nasdaq OMX Copenhagen 20 index. Trading volume on the share was 124 percent of the three-month daily average.

Chr. Hansen shares ended unchanged yesterday after the Hoersholm, Denmark-based company reported first-quarter earnings that matched analyst estimates and reiterated its full-year forecast. Nordea repeated a hold recommendation on the stock saying the earnings report was “sound,” according to a note distributed today.

“We see a good chance of Chr. Hansen announcing a share buy-back program later in the year, which will support the stock price,” said Jesper Bamberger, a stock adviser for Nordea in Copenhagen. “We therefore recommend holding on to the stock.”

Chr. Hansen on Oct. 19 ended a share buy-back program that amounted to 80 million euros ($107 million).

The company reported first-quarter revenue of 179 million euros, compared with an average estimate of 180 million euros in a Bloomberg survey of analysts. Net income in the three-month period rose to 31.8 million euros compared with an estimate of 31.2 million euros in the survey.

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