Maaden posts SR370.8m net profit

Updated 15 July 2014
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Maaden posts SR370.8m net profit

DUBAI: Saudi Arabian Mining Co. (Maaden) posted a higher-than-expected nine-fold rise in net profit in the second quarter, recovering from last year's poor performance as sales increased and aluminum prices rose.
The miner made a net SR370.8 million ($98.9 million) in the three months to June 30, compared with SR40.98 million in the year-earlier period, it said in a bourse filing on Tuesday.
Earnings were expected to improve because of a slump which Maaden suffered in the second quarter of 2013, due to a plant shutdown and lower gold prices. But its performance exceeded the expectations of all four analysts polled by Reuters, who had on average forecast 183.8 million.
Maaden is seen as a key driver of Saudi Arabia's economic diversification away from oil exports, with its $9 billion Waad Al-Shimal project expected to produce up to 16 million tons a year of numerous phosphate products when it comes on line in late 2016.
The company cited increased sales across its product range as well as higher aluminum prices for the profit increase, which helped offset lower prices for ammonia and one of its fertilizer products.
Maaden gave no further detail. Saudi companies usually issue brief earnings statements early in the reporting period before publishing more information later.
The profit increase reverses a broadly negative earnings run for the company, which had reported declining profits in four of the previous five quarters - with the outlying quarter positive largely due to a one-off gain on a joint venture.
The company signed $5 billion of loan financing for the Waad Al-Shimal scheme last month and is set to use much of the proceeds of a $1.5 billion rights issue, plans for which were announced in May, to fund the project.


Tesla nears 3-month low as JPMorgan adds to private deal doubts

Updated 20 August 2018
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Tesla nears 3-month low as JPMorgan adds to private deal doubts

  • Slashing its price target for Tesla from $308 to $195, the brokerage said it did not believe Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk had funds for a plan
  • Tesla shares fell nearly 4 percent

LONDON: Tesla shares fell nearly 4 percent on Monday as a $113 cut in JPMorgan Chase’s price target for the electric carmaker added to growing doubts among market players about a plan to take the company private.
Slashing its price target for Tesla from $308 to $195, the brokerage said it did not believe Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk had funds for a plan announced by a tweet that said “funding secured” two weeks ago.
Analysts from the US bank had upped its forecast from $198 to $308 after a roughly $100 surge in Tesla stock following Musk’s tweets on Aug. 7 and the note on Monday was the latest evidence of skepticism about the deal on Wall Street.
People familiar with the matter said on Sunday that PIF, the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund that Musk says had been pressing to help fund the buyout, is in talks to invest in aspiring Tesla rival Lucid Motors Inc.
“Our interpretation of subsequent events leads us to believe that funding was not secured for a going private transaction, nor was there any formal proposal,” JPMorgan analyst Ryan Brinkman wrote in a client note.
“Tesla does appear to be exploring a going private transaction, but we now believe that such a process appears much less developed than we had earlier presumed, suggesting formal incorporation into our valuation analysis seems premature at this time,” Brinkman said.
JPM now targets the stock, which it continues to value at underweight, back at $195, versus Friday’s close of $305.50. The median price target of the Wall Street analysts covering Tesla is $336.
Tesla shares touched a three-month low of $285 in premarket trading before recovering to trade around $290, reducing its market value back below that of General Motors as the biggest US carmaker.
An interview with the New York Times, in which Musk said he was under major emotional stress in the “most difficult year” of his life, on Friday added to investors’ concerns over his leadership after a series of social media spats.
A person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters last week that the SEC has opened an inquiry related to Musk’s tweets on the buyout and the billionaire is also facing a class action suite from investors who lost money in the share moves.
“The lack of process to (Musk’s) announcement has now caused governance and competency concerns which are starting to snowball,” said Tigress Financial Partners analyst Ivan Feinseth.