ING Barings reportedly upgraded its earnings forecast for Belgian shipping company CMB for 2000, 2001 and 2002 after the company reported extremely strong preliminary 2000 results. "Second half 2000 earnings went through the roof," ING Barings said in a research note. "Management announced last November that full-year net profit would exceed $120.9 million in 2000, already well ahead of consensus estimates. CMB further
surprises us by reporting 156 million euros. "Even though we were aware of favorable conditions in tankers, the contribution was far beyond imagination," it added.
ING Barings said it raised its earnings estimate for 2000 to 16.05 euros per share from 11.85 euros previously, raised its 2001 estimate 18.64 euros per share from 13.09 euros, and upgraded its 2002 estimate to 15.19 euros a share from 13.83 euros.
"We have upgraded our earnings forecasts with a higher contribution from tankers although we have cautiously assumed a 30 percent sequential decline--from the amazing second half of 2000--," ING Barings said. ING Barings said the top of the cycle seems to have been reached in dry bulk. - (Reuters)