Marine Harvest Jumps on Rising Salmon Prices, Demand: Oslo Mover

Marine Harvest ASA, the world’s largest salmon farmer, climbed to the highest level in more than 1-1/2 years in Oslo trading as rising European demand helps extend a recovery in prices.

Shares in the Oslo-based company rose as much as 2.6 percent to 5.49 kroner, the highest intraday level since May 30, 2011. The stock traded 1.3 percent higher at 5.42 kroner as of 12:40 p.m. in the Norwegian capital. More than 12.9 million shares have been traded so far today, compared with a three-month daily average of about 17.3 million.

“We hear of continued strong demand from Europe” and are expecting spot prices to rise by 1 kroner per kilogram (2.2 pounds) next week to about 35.5 kroner ($6.37) per kilogram, Pareto Securities AS said in an e-mail today. “We also observe significant increases in forward prices, and we believe we will see more volumes in the contract market going forward.”

Shares in producers tumbled in 2011 as prices fell 60 percent to 18 kroner a kilogram from April to October amid rising output from Norway and Chile, the world’s largest fish farmers. Prices have since recovered to about 32.12 kroner a kilo, according to the latest available data from NOS Clearing ASA, a clearing house for freight and commodities contracts.

Marine Harvest fell the most in almost three months on Jan. 16 after saying fourth-quarter profit will miss analyst estimates because of “very weak market conditions” in Chile and Canada.

Listeria Bacteria

The company will report fourth-quarter earnings before interest and tax of about 60 million kroner, compared with 403 million kroner a year earlier, it said in a statement. That compares with the 199.9 million kroner average of 11 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg on Jan. 16.

While Marine Harvest saw “strongly improved” conditions in Norway in the fourth quarter and into 2013, that performance was offset by weakness in Chile and Canada, the company said. Demand in Chile in particular was hit by the discovery of the listeria bacteria by smoked salmon producer Delifish, which resulted in recall costs.

Shares in Marine Harvest, in which Norwegian billionaire John Fredriksen owns a 21.4 percent stake, has gained 71 percent in the last 12 months, giving it a market value of 19.4 billion kroner. The company is scheduled to release fourth-quarter results on Feb. 6.

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