Kobe Steel Surges After Forecasting Annual Profit: Tokyo Mover

Kobe Steel Ltd., Japan’s third-biggest steelmaker, surged the most in 4 1/2 years in Tokyo trading after it forecast its first profit in three years.

The stock jumped as much as 19 percent, heading for its biggest gain since Oct. 14, 2008, and traded 7.3 percent higher at 131 yen as of 2:02 p.m. on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Kobe Steel forecast a profit of 35 billion yen ($354 million) in the year started April 1, beating the 8 billion yen average estimate of 15 analysts compiled by Bloomberg news. Cost cuts, combined with demand for automotive steel in North America and China will help support earnings growth, according to a statement filed today by the company.

The company had a loss of 27 billion yen in the 12 months ended March 31.

The fourth-quarter net loss narrowed to 4.2 billion yen from 26.8 billion yen a year earlier, the company said in a statement. Sales declined 3.8 percent to 437.8 billion yen in the period.

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