TAIWAN : At a time when freight rates have been on the rise due to strong demand and a supply shortage, Evergreen Marine Corp., the largest container cargo shipping company in Taiwan, reported better than expected earnings for the first quarter of this year.
In a statement, Evergreen said on Friday that it posted NT$36.08 billion (US$1.29 billion) in net profit or NT$7.04 per share in the January-March period, beating an earlier market estimate of about NT$5 in earnings per share (EPS).
The first quarter EPS represented a significant improvement from the NT$0.09 in loss per share over the same period of last year, according to data compiled by the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE), where Evergreen Marine’s shares are traded.
Evergreen’s first quarter EPS also topped the NT$5.06 in EPS the company raked in for the entire year of 2020, the data showed.
As of Friday, due to a lack of containers and shipping services worldwide, the freight rate on the route from the Far East to Europe hit a new high of US$4,678 per 20-foot equivalent unit (TEU).
In addition, the freight rate for the route from the Far East to the East Coast of the United States rose NT$617 or 9 percent to hit US$7,036 per 40-foot equivalent unit (FEU) as of Friday, while the freight rate on the route from Far East to the West Coast of the U.S. fell US$415 to US$4,608 per FEU.
Evergreen’s rival in Taiwan, Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp., has not released its first quarter results yet, but analysts said the company’s EPS could challenge NT$7 for the three-month period.
Analysts said Evergreen and Yang Ming Marine could report NT$27.39 and NT$24.33, respectively, in EPS for 2021 and expect their share price to challenge NT$137 and NT$144 this year.
On Friday, Evergreen shares rose 4.81 percent to close at NT$85.00 and Yang Ming shares gained 8.45 percent to end at NT$91.50 on the main board, pushing up the shipping sector by 3.39 percent.
Riding the waves of growing freight rates, the shipping sector has served as a driver to the gains on the broader market in recent sessions.
Since the beginning of March, Evergreen shares have jumped about 124 percent and Yang Ming shares have even soared around 216 percent.
Source : Hellenic Shipping