Kenya Airways Plunges Before Earnings Report: Nairobi Mover

Kenya Airways Ltd., sub-Saharan Africa’s third-largest airline, retreated to the lowest in more than three months on speculation that its full-year loss may be larger than initially estimated.

The stock dropped as much as 9.1 percent and closed down 1.8 percent at 10.80 shillings in Nairobi, the capital, the lowest since March 7. Almost 500,000 shares were traded, equal to 1.1 times the three-month daily average volume.

Kenya Airways reported in November a first-half loss of 4.8 billion shillings ($56 million) for the six months through September because of lower passenger numbers and a stronger local currency.

In the fourth quarter through March, capacity fell 4.5 percent from a year earlier, the carrier said on April 23. The shilling gained 0.7 percent against the dollar in that period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company will announce full-year earnings on June 14.

“People are pricing in that the loss would be bigger than initially expected and they don’t want Friday to come and they are caught holding the shares,” Brenda Kithinji, a research analyst at Nairobi-based Standard Investment Bank Ltd., said by phone today. Kepha Bosire, Kenya Airways’ head of corporate communications, didn’t answer a call made to his mobile phone today.

Kenya Airways plunged 42 percent in 2012, the Nairobi Securities Exchange’s worst performer. The stock retreated 5.3 percent this year, while the bourse in East Africa’s biggest economy rose 33 percent as of the close on June 7.

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