Saudi Arabian Fertilizers Co (Safco) on Sunday said its quarterly net profit fell 13 per cent, missing analysts expectations for the second straight quarter. Safco made 790 million riyals ($210.7 million) in the second quarter, compared with 907.2 million riyals in the prior-year period when its results were boosted by sale of land. Analysts had forecast average second-quarter earnings of 994.3 million riyals, in a Reuters survey.
The company said sales of ammonia declined in the second-quarter and average urea prices were also lower on a sequential basis. Operating profits at Safco rose 36 per cent to 757 million riyals versus 558 million riyals year-ago. Safco said it would pay a dividend of 6 riyals a share for the first half of the year. Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corp holds a 42.9 per cent stake in Safco. Safco shares have gained 17.5 per cent year-to-date.
Saudi Arabian shares headed for the lowest close this month after second-quarter earnings at Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Co missed analysts’ estimates. Saudi Arabian Fertilizer, also known as Safco, lost 2.1 per cent. Saudi Basic, the world’s biggest petrochemicals maker, dropped the most in more than two weeks. The Tadawul All Share Index declined 0.5 per cent to 6,592.21 at 12:50 p.m. in Riyadh, headed for the lowest close since June 29. The Gulf region’s Bloomberg GCC 200 Index retreated 0.3 per cent.
“Safco results are weighing down on market sentiment,” said Asim Bukhtiar, an equity analyst. Net income at Safco fell to 790 million riyals ($211 million) from 907 million riyals a year ago because a gain from a land sale wasn’t repeated, the Jubail-based company said.
The mean estimate of four analysts was for a profit of 987 million riyals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The shares dropped to 184.5 riyals, the lowest intraday level since June 20.
Sabic declined 1.2 per cent, the most since June 25, to 104.75 riyals. Bank Albilad, Saudi Arabia’s smallest lender by market value, advanced 1.3 per cent, the most since June 26, to 18.9 riyals. The bank’s second-quarter profit more than doubled to 81.7 million riyals from a year ago.
From / Gulf Today