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Mol quarterly profit seen falling on oil price, forint: Outlook

Mol Nyrt, Hungary's largest energy company, may say Q4 profit declined 24% on falling crude oil prices and the Hungarian currency's gain against the US dollar.

Net income might fall to Ft 41.6 billion ($213 million), from Ft 54.8 billion a year earlier, according to the median estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News, after more than doubling in the Q3. Mol Nyrt reports earnings February 12 before the market opens. „It all went wrong for Mol this quarter,” said Ákos Herczenik, an analyst at Raiffeisen Securities in Budapest.

„Mainly that oil prices sank and the dollar weakened against the forint.” Mol, based in Budapest, is shifting its focus to exploration and production after buying refineries and filling stations in eastern Europe over the past five years. Profit in the quarter was dampened by lower crude prices, a firming Hungarian currency and a maintenance shutdown at its Slovakian unit. Sales probably declined to Ft 688 billion from Ft 750.1 billion, according to four forecasts.

The price of Urals-type crude dropped 14.1% from the Q3, according to Péter Tordai, head of research at KBC Securities in Budapest. „Given that the sluggish Q4 figures are mostly due to negative one-offs, while crude oil prices have recovered markedly since late January, we foresee only moderate pressure on the full-year consensus earnings estimate,” Tordai said in a note to clients. „Thus we would consider any major drop in the share price as a buy opportunity.” (Bloomberg)