Mol Declines to Two-Month Low on Earnings Miss: Budapest Mover

Mol Nyrt., Hungary’s largest refiner, fell after reporting a smaller-than-expected fourth-quarter profit as the recession hit fuel sales, Syrian production ceased and gas trading in Croatia suffered a loss.

The shares fell as much as 2.7 percent and traded 2.2 percent weaker at 17,100 forint by 10:09 a.m. in Budapest, the lowest intraday level since Dec. 21. The benchmark BUX stock index, in which Mol has a 31 percent weighting, dropped 1.6 percent.

Net income was 7.7 billion forint ($34 million), compared with a restated net loss of 29.1 billion forint a year earlier, the company said in a filing to the Budapest Stock Exchange today. The median estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for a profit of 26.1 billion forint. Net income adjusted for special items amounted to 11.2 billion forint, compared with 20.8 billion forint a year earlier.

“Mol underperformed even the most pessimistic analyst forecasts with its earnings report this morning,” KBC Groep NV’s Equitas unit said in an e-mailed research report today.

Fuel sales fell in Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia because of struggling economies and high fuel prices in the region, Mol said.

“2013 could be just as challenging as 2012 was, taking into account the slow economic growth in Europe or the tightening regulatory environment in many countries,” Mol Chairman Zsolt Hernadi said in the statement.