SALT adds to sweeter week for marine shares

Scorpio Bulkers rises 18% in one day after talk of fleet sale; global shipping indexes finish on high note.

Scorpio Bulkers saw its shares pop at the end of a week that saw global shipping equities rise along with wider stock markets.

Scorpio’s shares, which trade under ticker symbol SALT, jumped 18% today to close at $2.36 on the New York Stock Exchange, though it had rocketed far higher earlier in the day.

_KE12475.jpg Scorpio group chief executive Emanuele Lauro

The jump came after reports today that the Emanuele Lauro-led bulker owner is in advanced talks to sell its entire fleet to Greek shipowner John Angelicoussis.

The jump placed it among the biggest movers in a week that saw virtually all shipping stock indexes posting improvements. The Dow Jones Global Shipping Index jumped 2% today to hit $466.10, which marked a 1.3% increase from last Friday’s close of $460.15.

The index’s largest component, AP Moller Maersk, saw its shares surge 6.5% for the week.

The Dow Jones US Marine Transportation Index saw an even more positive week, rising by 3.8% to reach $185.69 at Friday’s close.

BB&T analyst Kevin Sterling attributed the improvement to a sort of “dead cat bounce” after shipping shares had been so heavily battered previously.

“These things have just been so oversold,” he said.

LNG carrier owner GasLog was among the largest weekly movers, with its shares gaining 10.8% this week. The company reported in-line results Thursday, and executives said it could refinance more of its debt to push back its payment profile and is seeking to enter the floating storage and regasification unit market.

Stealthy surge

In the LPG space, StealthGas added 12.7% this week to close Friday at $3.10.

Cruiseship shares also gained ground this week, with Norwegian Cruise Line jumping 16.8% to $49.63. the Miami company posted earnings in-line with analyst figures and issued a positive outlook for 2016 and the start of 2017.

Crude tanker owners bucked the trend, with Euronav losing 12.8% this week to end at $9.54 in New York. Navios Maritime Acquisition tanked by 11.9% to $1.70.

Hornbeck Offshore Services led rising offshore vessel shares, adding 15.8% this week to end Friday at $7.56. Shares in rival Tidewater gained 10.4% in a see-saw week.

Bourbon takes off

French offshore vessel owner Bourbon saw its shares rocket in a strong week in the offshore sector.

The NYSE Euronext-listed shares jumped 38.1% to hit EUR 13.62 ($14.89) on Friday.

In Japan, the Topix Marine Transportation Stock Price Index gained 1.4% to end the week at nearly 269 points.

It was a flat week for shares in South Korean yard shares, with the KRX Ship Building dipping 0.6%.

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Angelicoussis said to be in close talks to acquire entire Scorpio Bulkers fleet.

26 Feb 2016