Metsae Board Advances as Nordea Sees Potential: Helsinki Mover

Metsae Board Oyj, a Finnish maker of cartonboard champagne boxes, rose the most in more than a year after Nordea Bank AB recommended clients buy shares on the likelihood of profit improvement in the second half of the year.

Metsae Board climbed as much as 9.6 percent, the biggest intraday jump since April 2012. Shares in the Espoo, Finland-based company advanced 7.9 percent to 2.59 euros at 4:47 p.m. in Helsinki trading. Volume was seven times the three-month daily average.

“Current discount to the sector does not do justice to the stability of the product mix,” Harri Taittonen, an analyst at Nordea, said in a note today.

The European paper industry has been shrinking for years as demand for newspapers and magazines drops and production shifts to Asia. Metsae Board shares declined to as low 20 euro cents in March 2009, its lowest on record, after which the company has shifted focus to consumer packaging from paper and reassured investors of its funding stability.

Taittonen upgraded his rating to buy from hold and increased the 12-month price estimate to 2.80 euros from 2.55 euros, citing potential improvement in the year’s second half resulting from better linerboard prices, volume improvements for cartonboard and cost reductions.

Metsae Board reported first-quarter net income of 8 million euros ($10.6 million) yesterday, short of the 14.5 million euros estimated by 6 analysts in a Bloomberg survey. Profits were weighed down by 26.3 million euros of financial costs, about 8 million euros of which was additional interest caused by prepayment of a private placement, the company said.

“The market situation in paperboard is currently strong, and delivery volumes are expected to be good in the second quarter as well,” Chief Executive Officer Mikko Helander said in an earnings briefing yesterday. “I see our growth potential very good during the coming years.”

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