Today's Falling Knife: Aggreko Plunges 17%

Published in Company Comment on 17 December 2012

Aggreko (LON AGK) warns that its 2013 performance could be below that of 2012.

The shares of Aggreko (LSE: AGK) slumped 369p, or 17%, to 1,757p during early London trade this morning after the FTSE 100 (UKX) member warned that its profits for 2013 would be "slightly lower" than those produced during 2012.

Aggreko, which claims to be the world's leading supplier of temporary power generators, admitted sales next year may be £100m short of the £1.6bn the firm expects to declare for 2012.

Aggreko blamed the deficit on bumper Olympic revenues, lower military spending within Afghanistan and uncertainty among the group's Japanese clients.

For good measure, Aggreko added that the economic environment for 2013 was "particularly uncertain" and the company said it was "difficult at this stage to provide a definitive view of the likely pattern of trading" for next year.

Today's warning from Aggreko accompanied confirmation of the firm's 2012 performance. The aforementioned underlying sales of £1.6bn will be 13% higher than those registered during 2011, while profits before tax are expected to come in at £365m, up about 7% on last year.

Aggreko also said its forthcoming 2012 results would show net debt of £620m and capital expenditure of £420m. For the first half of 2013, capital expenditure is set to be reduced to £150m.

Prior to today, City experts that followed Aggreko had expected earnings to advance about 10% during 2013. However, their revised forecasts are now likely to show earnings no higher than the 101p per share projected for 2012.

As such, the battered shares still trade on a P/E of 17 -- which looks high for a business where short-term growth appears shaky. The dividend provides no salvation either, given the 21.8p per share trailing payout supports a tiny 1.2% yield.

Still, for prospective knife-catchers, it's worth bearing in mind Aggreko's shares collapsed from 758p to 361p during the banking crash…

... but then went on to expand six-fold within three years as the business expanded strongly. Such potential returns suggest it may pay to keep an eye on Aggreko.

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> Maynard does not own any share mentioned in this article.

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Comments

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DirtyDollie 17 Dec 2012 , 9:45am

I don't really know why this comes as a surprise to the market.

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