Bureau Veritas Rises Most Since 2007 as Earnings Beat Estimates

Bureau Veritas SA rose as much as 12 percent in Paris trading as profitability at the French provider of testing, inspection and certification services beat analysts’ estimates.

The 2013 margin based on adjusted earnings before interest, taxes and amortization rose 30 basis points to 16.7 percent of sales, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France-based Bureau Veritas said in a statement today. Societe Generale analyst Philippe Landroit said in a note to clients that the market consensus had been for the margin to remain unchanged.

The company, in which France’s largest publicly traded investment firm Wendel owns 51 percent according to data collected by Bloomberg, is testing and certifying a wide range of goods and services from ships and power plants to bicycles and children’s toys. Bureau Veritas, which has 60,000 employees in 140 countries, said today it’s benefiting from its increasing geographic reach as it made seven acquisitions last year.

“In 2013, Bureau Veritas once again achieved solid financial performance, demonstrating the balanced nature of our portfolio by sector and by geography,” Chief Executive Officer Didier Michaud-Daniel said in a statement. On a conference call with journalists he said the company is also “seeing a pickup in orders for new ships, and metals and minerals may have reached a trough.”

The stock rose as much as 2.34 euros to 22.34 euros, the most since the company’s initial public offering in 2007, and was up 9.5 percent as of 11:10 a.m., valuing the company at 9.7 billion euros ($13.3 billion). Before today, the stock had gained 5.3 percent in the last 12 months, while the SBF 120 index increased 17 percent.

The company said today it predicts a gradual increase in organic growth momentum and further margin expansion in 2014.

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