Prosafe Falls as DNB Sees Risk of Lower Earnings: Oslo Mover

Prosafe SE, an operator of support rigs for the oil and gas industry, fell the most in a week in Oslo trading after DNB ASA cut its rating on the stock because of the risk of lower earnings due to an idled rig.

Prosafe, based in Larnaca, Cyprus, fell as much as 1.7 percent, the most since Jan. 18, and traded at 52.70 kroner as of 12:22 p.m. in the Norwegian capital. More than 64,000 shares were traded so far today, compared with a three-month average daily volume of 427,899.

“Safe Astoria is currently not contracted until May 2014 and demand in Asia remains scarce,” Mats Olimb, an analyst at Oslo-based DNB, said in an e-mailed note.

The bank’s estimates for Prosafe 2013 earnings per share may be cut by 18 percent to 73 cents should the accommodation and service rig not secure a contract this year, said the analyst, who cut his rating on the stock to hold from buy.

Prosafe’s fourth-quarter utilization rate fell to 82 percent from 85 percent the previous quarter, it said Jan. 22. The company, which owns 11 semi-submersible accommodation rigs and has another on order, is betting on rising demand for floating hotels for workers as energy companies expand the search for hydrocarbons offshore.

Astoria, which finished a contract with Woodside Petroleum Ltd. off Australia at the end of 2012, isn’t due to start again until the second quarter of next year when it begins work for Royal Dutch Shell Plc, according to Prosafe’s website.