Commerzbank starts Hapag coverage with 'buy'

German bank says there is 35% upside to stock within a year.

Germany's Commerzbank has initiated coverage of domestic container line Hapag-Lloyd with a recommendation to buy its stock.

It forecast a price of EUR 46 ($55.76) per share within a year, up 35% from now.

The new target is 16% above the consensus average of EUR 39.82.

Hapag-Lloyd has integrated Middle East line UASC and the boxship operations of Chile's CSAV in the last two years.

It said a solid operational performance in the third quarter of 2017 allowed it to post operating profit of EUR 180.6m ($213m), against EUR 65.6m a year earlier.

Net earnings came in at EUR 54.3m, up from EUR 8.2m at the same stage last year.

Revenue jumped to EUR 2.8bn from EUR 1.93bn.