Nakilat Surges Most in 2 Years as Dividend Increases: Doha Mover

Qatar Gas Transport Co. soared the most in two years after the Doha-based exporter of gas known as Nakilat raised its 2012 dividend.

Shares of the company that owns, operates and leases liquefied natural gas vessels rallied 3.1 percent, the most since March 2011, to 16.85 riyals at the close in Doha. About 2.6 million shares were traded, almost six times the three-month daily average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The stock was the most traded on the benchmark QE Index, which advanced 0.3 percent.

Nakilat, the second-best performing stock in Qatar this year, said it would pay a cash dividend of 1 riyal a share for 2012 after it paid 0.85 riyal for 2011. The payout translates into a “healthy” dividend yield of 6.1 percent, QNB Financial Services estimates. That compares with 4.8 percent for National Shipping Co. of Saudi Arabia, which transports freight by ship.

Nakilat “remains Qatar’s primary LNG carrier and benefits from stable-visible revenue and cash flow” via fixed-charter contracts with state-controlled LNG producers, Qatar Liquefied Gas Co. and Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Co., QNB Financial Services said in an e-mailed note today.

Nakilat posted an 8 percent drop in 2012 profit to 765.5 million riyals ($210 million). The company is poised to report a 10 percent increase in 2013 profit, according to the median estimate of three analysts on Bloomberg.

Qatar produces as much as 77 million tons a year of LNG, making it the world’s biggest exporter of the fuel chilled for shipment by sea. Nakilat has expanded into dry dock operations and ship building after receiving the last of 25 wholly owned and 29 partly owned LNG tankers. The tankers are leased under long-term contracts to Qatargas and Rasgas.

Nakilat’s shares have gained 10 percent in 2013, compared with a 2.2 percent gain for the QE Index. Two analysts recommend buying Nakilat shares while two have a hold rating, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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