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  • Baltic Morning News


    Ventspils Nafta reports transhipment volumes. The Latvian seaport operator / conglomerate handled 5.7m tons of crude oil and oil products in 2006, down from ca 8m tons in 2005. However, on the positive side, volumes transported by the sea have increased (1.24m tons in 2006, which is ca 1m tons more than 2005). Vitol, the new 35% owner of Ventspils Nafta has been helping to supply the volumes delivered by sea and the cooperation is also expected to continue in 2007. In the last quarter of 2006, the total volumes handled by Ventspils were quite stable at 0.4m tons per month.

    Beer market stabilizing. According to the Association of Estonian Breweries, beer market growth in 2006 was just 3% yoy. The market leader was Saku (Acc) with 46.5% market share. Second biggest was A.Le Coq with 37.1% share, followed by Puls Brewery (increased sales 6x in 2006), and Viru Brewery. The average beer consumption was 96.5 litres per capita in 2006 (around 80 litres per capita when adjusted for exports). Main beer industry trends in 2006: 1) beer market becoming stabile; 2) focus on premium-products; 3) small breweries closing doors. We believe the growth will slow down even more in 2007 to annual growth of around 1.5%. However, when looking for growth in beverage industry, one should look at other segments of beverages such as ciders, long drinks, and mineral waters.

    Loan growth slowing down. According to Erkki Raasuke, CEO of Hansabank Group, loan growth in the three Baltic States is expected to lose its pace this year as banks move to cut credit risk. He also added that expectations are more managed and regulators have been showing where they stand. Banks are more conservative and selective in where they want to take risk. In addition, central banks in Estonia and Latvia have raised the refinancing rate and also reserve requirements. This is good news from the CEO of Baltic largest bank, especially in terms of the need to cool down the Baltic overheating economies.

    Lithuania’s construction prices up 11% in 2006. According to Statistics Lithuania, the construction price index rose 10.6% last year, a year earlier the increase was 8.7%. The strongest growth of construction prices was in residential sector (12.4%), while non-residential construction prices rose somewhat less (9.8%). Not a surprise, the highest growing cost item was labour (19.8%), followed by machinery (9.1%), and building materials (5.6%).

    94% of Latvian buildings need renovation. BBN writes that 94% of apartment buildings in Latvia built before 1990 are in need of renovation. Andris Ozolis, CEO of DnB NORD, said the crisis could start in 2020 when the first buildings would be in critical condition. The situation is similar in Estonia. The majority of Estonian dwelling stock has been built between 1950 and 1990, and today are in need and soon in critical need for renovation. Although we have been little sceptical on Estonian residential real estate (overheating), the long term view is still quite positive (low quality dwelling needs to be replaced).

    Additional shares of Tallink (Neutral) will start trading today (shortname - TAL4T)

  • Täna on kaks üritust - "õppefilm" Urmas Sõõrumaast ja seejärel film Manifest. Kas saaks mõlemat vaadata? Hea oleks mõlemat suurelt ekraanilt vaadata.
  • "Sõprusesse" kogunevad täna siis LHV gurud filmi vaatama.
  • Thomas Weisel initiates American Eagle Outfitters (AEOS 32.38) with an Underweight, as they believe it will be increasingly difficult for AEOS to deliver positive comps early in '07 and expect gross margin gains going forward to moderate and the expense rate may begin to increase

    JP Morgan upgrades Dell (DELL 24.22) to Neutral from Underweight.

    Merrill upgrades Dell (DELL 24.22) to Buy from Neutral

    Merrill upgrades UPS (UPS 72.28) to Neutral from Sell

    Lehman Brothers downgrades Nvidia (NVDA 30.65) to Equal-Weight from Overweight

    Deutsche Bank downgrades Vodafone (VOD 29.39) to Hold from Buy.

    Prudential raises their Google (GOOG 501.50) tgt to $600 from $575, following solid Q406 results

    Wachovia raises their Q1 ests for GS adn LEH, given Dec and Jan trends. Firm remains bullish on the brokerage group despite an impressive 40% average return for the monoline investment banks in 2006, and says major indicators remain positive for 2007. Regarding valuations, in 4Q06 the group's ROE was 27%, the highest since 1Q00; P/B at qtr-end was 2.3x, below levels seen in '00 and early '01. However, valuation as a function of returns was just 8.5x, the lowest it has been dating back to 1Q00, and considering this dynamic firm says it is difficult to argue for a contraction in the group's valuation.

    Viimastel päevadel on palju negatiivset toimunud NutriSystemi (NTRI) ümber. Täna raputab soola haavale veel WSJ negatiivse artikliga. Usun, et aktsia võib pakkuda võimaluse gapdown-reversal mänguks. 

    The Wall Street Journal reports some analysts have lost their appetite for shares of NutriSystem (NTRI). Thomas Weisel analyst Jim Duffy, who previously had the co rated the equivalent of a "buy," last week cut his holding to "market weight," or "neutral." He cited concerns that the effectiveness of the co's marketing program was softening. "We see this as a potential sign that NutriSystem has reached the point of diminishing return," on ad spending, he wrote to investors Jan. 26. Weisel has received investment-banking fees from NutriSystem in the past year. Big institutional investors have slashed their holdings. Last year, Fidelity Investments held 7.7% of NutriSystem. Today, according to SEC filings, it holds just 1.7%. A Fidelity spokeswoman declined to comment.

  • Exxoni tulemustest peegeldub juba varasemaid sõnavõtte sarnastelt ettevõteteit:

    Exxon Mobil (XOM) beats by $0.18 reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.69 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.18 better than the Reuters Estimates consensus of $1.51; revenues fell 9.4% year/year to $90.03 bln, not comparable to the $100 bln single estimate. XOM says lower natural gas realizations, refining margins were partly offset by higher crude oil realizations and improved chemical margins. Upstream earnings were $6.22 bln, down $818 mln YoY. production fell 1%, however, production excluding impact of divestments and entitlements rose 2%.

     Valero Energy (VLO) reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.59 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.21 better than the Reuters Estimates consensus of $1.38; revenues fell 23.6% year/year to $19.79 bln vs the $16.03 bln consensus.

    Boston Scientific (BSX) reports EPS in-line, light on revs; guides Q1 below consensus (18.45 ) Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.20 per share, excluding special credits & option expense items, in line with the Reuters Estimates consensus of $0.20; revenues rose 34.1% year/year to $2.06 bln vs the $2.08 bln consensus. Co issues downside guidance for Q1, sees EPS of $0.15-0.21 vs. $0.22 consensus; sees Q1 revs of $2.0-2.1 bln vs. $2.16 bln consensus.

    For 2007, the Company has concluded that forecasting the rate of growth in the cardiac rhythm management market and the drug-eluting stent market will be difficult, given the events and volatility in both markets during 2006. Since these two markets are so significant to the Company's forecasted results of operations in 2007, the Company believes it is appropriate to provide guidance only for the first quarter.

  • The Street:
    By TSC Staff
    2/1/2007 1:50 PM EST
    Europe's stocks were stronger Thursday with many broad indices showing gains of 1% or more.
    London's FTSE 100 rose 1.3% to 6282, and Frankfurt's Xetra DAX was up 0.9% at 6851. In Paris, the CAC 40 advanced 1% to 5662, while Milan's MIB 30 gained 0.7% to 42,421.

    Estonia's OMX Tallinn Index was higher by 1.4%.

    As for Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 was up 0.8% to 17,519, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng surged 1.6% to 20,430. Mainland China's equities were mixed, and South Korea's market was significantly stronger.
    India's BSE Sensex was ahead by 1.3% to 14,267, and Singapore's Straits Times Index was up 1.4% to 3,168.

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