PAK Jumps as Espirito Santo Says Buy Utility on Dividend

ZE PAK SA rose to a three-week high after Espirito Santo Investment SA recommended buying shares of Poland’s fourth-largest publicly traded power company, citing an “attractive” valuation and dividend potential.

The stock climbed as much as 3.3 percent and closed 2.3 percent higher to 28.81 zloty today in Warsaw. Espirito set its price estimate for the stock at 32.5 zloty in new coverage today. Poland sold its entire 50 percent stake in the utility’s initial public offering at 26.2 zloty a share last year to help finance the budget deficit.

“PAK is trading at a significant discount” to both regional and European utilities, Maciej Hebda, head of equity research at Espirito in Warsaw, said in a note. “We highlight the company’s attractive dividend potential” and “relatively low leverage.”

The utility, controlled by Polish billionaire Zygmunt Solorz-Zak, trades 6.6 times estimated 2013 earnings, or at a 28 percent discount to its central European competitors, according to Espirito.