BASF to Cut 2015 Profit Target After Gazprom Swap, DZ Bank Says

BASF SE, the world’s biggest chemical maker, will cut its 2015 sales and profit targets should the asset swap with Gazprom take place as planned, said Peter Spengler, an analyst at DZ Bank AG.

The chemical maker may cut its target for earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization to 13 billion euros ($17 billion) from 14 billion euros, Spengler said today in a note to clients. The 2015 sales forecast may be reduced to 70 billion euros from 80 billion euros and an earnings per share target to 7 euros from 7.50 euros, he said.

BASF said last month the planned asset swap with Gazprom wasn’t taken into account when it reduced its expectations for 2015 and 2020 because of accounting-rule changes. A further cut of the size expected by Spengler would mean 2015 sales slipping below 72.1 billion euros, the level of 2012 under the new accounting rules.

Jennifer Moore-Braun, spokeswoman for Ludwigshafen, Germany-based BASF, declined to comment on potential new forecasts, reiterating the asset swap isn’t taken into account under the existing ones.

The swap, to close by the end of 2013, involves an exit from natural-gas trading and storage as well as assets in oil exploration and production in the North Sea that contributed 10 billion euros to 2012 sales and about 500 million euros to Ebitda.