Panalpina Shares Decline After Cautious Outlook: Zurich Mover

Panalpina Welttransport Holding AG fell the most in five months as the freight-forwarding company said conditions will remain difficult after disappointing results last year, when it didn’t address costs fast enough.

The shares fell as much as 5.7 percent, the biggest intraday drop since October. The stock was down 4.6 percent at 93.85 Swiss francs at 10.14 a.m. in Zurich, giving the Basel, Switzerland-based company a market value of 2.23 billion francs ($2.36 billion).

“The market environment will remain difficult and volatile and we are therefore very cautious regarding forecasts for 2013,´´ Chief Executive Officer Monika Ribar said in a statement today. “We will have to stay very vigilant so that we can take necessary actions fast” and the company is “critically reviewing our customer portfolio in air freight,” she said.

Panalpina transported 801,000 metric tons of air freight in 2012, 6 percent less than in 2011, compared with a decline of more than 2 percent for the overall market, as high-tech goods declined, the company said. That contrasts with Kuehne & Nagel International AG, which said on March 4 that its air-freight volumes grew 2 percent last year.

“We see scope for culture change,´´ Damian Brewer and Andy Jones, analysts at RBC Capital Markets, said in a note to clients today. “As changes build, results may get worse before they get better.´´

Panalpina today reported a fourth-quarter loss of 51.2 million francs, compared with a profit of 28.8 million francs a year earlier. Sales climbed 2.4 percent to 1.69 billion francs.

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