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Fred Olsen Climbs on Outlook for Dividends, New Rigs: Oslo Mover

July 10 (Bloomberg) -- Fred Olsen Energy ASA rose to a six-week high in Oslo ahead of the offshore drilling company’s quarterly results tomorrow, which analysts say may provide more detail on plans for increased dividends or new rig purchases.

Shares in the company gained as much as 1.3 percent to 261.8 kroner, the highest intraday level since May 28. They traded 0.7 percent higher as of 10:25 a.m. local time, extending their gain during the last 12 months to 20 percent.

Like Norwegian competitor Seadrill Ltd., Fred Olsen is expanding and upgrading its fleet to take advantage of increased investment in offshore exploration. The company, which owns deepwater drilling rigs and semi-submersible vessels, has two units under construction: an ultra-deepwater drillship due in 2013 and an ultra-deepwater semi-submersible due in early 2015.

“With a strong balance sheet and earnings per share to increase to 42 kroner in 2015, Fred Olsen Energy has the capacity to increase dividends and/or order new rigs,” Pareto Securities AS said in a note today. The “main focus tomorrow will be on the dividend and newbuild plans, said the broker, which has a buy recommendation on the stock and a 12-month price target of 300 kroner.

Fred Olsen, based in the Norwegian capital, is expected to report second-quarter net income of 469.8 million kroner, according to the average of 11 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. That compares with 614.5 million kroner a year earlier and 444.4 million in the first quarter.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alastair Reed on areed12@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christian Wienberg at cwienberg@bloomberg.net

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