Vietnam: Seafood shares look promising in last quarter this year

Most of seafood exporters announced healthy earning results in the first nine months of the  years thanks to surging demand worldwide and the strong US dollar. However, some catfish and  basa producers were hit by anti-dumping taxes, while shrimp exporters took profit from the  weakening supply caused by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in the US.

Minh Phu Seafood Joint Stock Company (MPC) produced 16,660 tons of shrimp in the first three quarters of 2010, with the profit reaching VND253.3 billion (US$13 million).

Sao Ta Foods Joint Stock Company (FMC) made an after-tax profit of VND5.97 billion ($298,500) in the third quarter, a significant increase of 190 percent year-on-year. The profit from exporting seafood, which is the firm’s core business, surged 176.5 percent year-on-year to VND31.11 billion ($1.6 million).

Financial experts said seafood exporters took big profit from the dollar/Vietnam dong exchange rate fluctuation, which saw the rate rose from VND18,465 per dollar early this year to VND19,500 per dollar. The stronger dollar gave the exporters selling seafood to the US around 5 percent of their revenue in the first three quarter this year.

Catfish and basa exporters meanwhile suffered heavy losses in the first nine months of the year as they struggled to deal with increasing material price and anti-dumping taxes. Among losers are BASA Joint Stock Company (BAS) with a loss of VND7.5 billion ($375,000).

Third quarter revenue of Cuulong Fish Joint Stock Company (ACL) rose 45.8 percent year-on-year, but its profit dropped 64.7 percent. Similarly, the net profit in the first nine months of Hung Vuong Corporation (HVG), one of the country’s biggest catfish and basa exporters, only made out of 50.9 percent of the target.

But analysts said the seafood sector’s average price-to-earnings rate (P/E) of 7.6x was much lower than the stock market’s average P/E rate of 11.4x, showing seafood share prices are pretty good.

They also expect seafood sector will be booming in the last quarter thanks to the yearend rising consumption prices and the US dollar getting stronger.

The seafood demand at developed countries often increase significantly in the last quarter every year as they come into the festival season.

Shrimp price surged to $3-4.8/pound in the first nine months as the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in the USA prompted to a shortage in shrimp supplying.

Source: Saigon Giai Phong Daily

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