Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) -- AS Tallink Grupp, the largest Baltic ferry company, fell the most in 14 months in Tallinn trading after reporting passenger and cargo volumes fell in January.
The shares declined 3.7 percent to 88 euro cents, the biggest one-day fall since November 2011. The OMX Tallinn stock index, in which Tallink has a 32.7 percent weighting, fell 1.7 percent to 755.33.
Tallink, which transports passengers and cargo mainly between the Swedish, Finnish and Estonian capitals, said today overall passenger volume fell 14 percent in January from a year earlier. The number of transported cargo units dropped 14 percent, the company said. The decline was a result of fewer trips due to vessel reassignments to other routes and scheduled ship maintenance, Tallink said.
“The Estonia-Finland route and the Estonia-Sweden route maintained their efficiencies in terms of passengers per trip,” Marek Randma, head of Baltic equity research at Swedbank AB in Tallinn, said in an e-mailed note. “While Tallink had less capacity available on the Finland-Sweden route, the 20 percent decline in passengers was also affected by the launch of the Viking Grace ship in mid-January by Tallink’s largest competitor” Viking Line, he added.
Swedbank will keep its buy recommendation for the stock at the target price of 1 euro as the January data “didn’t have a large impact on the company’s outlook,” Randma said.
The stock has gained 14 percent since it said on Dec. 13 that Baltic Cruises Holding LP, a subsidiary of the CVCI Growth Fund II managed by Citigroup Venture Capital International, bought a 15.7 percent stake. An agreement gave Baltic Cruises the right to buy more shares without the consent of other large shareholders until April 30.
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