Wilhelmsen Gains as Shipping Recovery Boosts Outlook: Oslo Mover

Wilhelm Wilhelmsen ASA, the world’s largest vehicle transporter, climbed the most in almost a month in Oslo as a recovery in car sales in North America and Europe improves the company’s earnings prospects.

Shares in the company, based in Lysaker near Oslo, gained as much as 3.1 percent to 49.70 kroner, the biggest intraday advance since July 11, and traded 2.5 percent higher as of 12:35 p.m., outperforming the Bloomberg European Transportation Index, which was up 0.4 percent. Almost 38,000 Wilhelmsen shares have been traded so far today, more than 85 percent of the average daily volume during the last three months.

The company, which operates about a quarter of the global car carrier fleet, is benefitting from rising demand for automobiles and other vehicles as the global economy recovers. Wilhelmsen today reported second-quarter earnings that beat estimates, citing a positive trend in car sales and increased demand for construction, mining and agricultural vehicles.

“The volume decline recorded in the latter half of 2012 and beginning of 2013 has levelled off with positive development for both cargo segments,” Wilhelmsen said in a statement. The company “anticipates that volumes shipped by the group’s fleet will remain at present level.”

The shipping company reported second-quarter net income of $92 million, up from $70 million a year ago, and beating the $57 million average of eleven analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The better than expected numbers were “driven by a sharp increase in shipping results,” Pareto Securities AS said in a note. “All in all the report is very positive and gives increased confidence in higher shipping-volumes going forward.”

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