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Press speculates PKN first quarter results could disappoint

13.4.2006 9:43
Autor: KBC/Patria

Unidentified source from PKN said for Polish Press Agency that they do not expect good results in 1Q06 mainly due to unfavourable macro conditions, including low refining margins. The unnamed source also mentioned that long winter resulted in slow down in the economy, and some investments were put off so the demand for fuel was lower. Thirdly, it was also told to press that no one offs expected to extort results in 1Q06.

We would not entirely agree with with the above statements cited by the Polish press, as we saw better refining environment in the first quarter of 2006 than a year ago. NWE refining margin was on an average 70% better y/y (1Q05 average NWE refining margin was US$ 2.99 per barrel versus US$ 5.07 per barrel in 1Q06). We believe, due to the seasonality effects in the industry, the 1Q06 results should be compared to 1Q05, rather than the 4Q05 results.

We believe, the positive refining environment helped PKN's 1Q06 results, however, we would have a concern over the realised margins by the company. In the 4Q05 the Government put pressure on the Polish oil companies not to increase their prices, and this lowered their effective margins in the quarter. If it turned out, that politicians again put similar pressure on the Polish oil companies, we would reiterate our positions on the companies.

Currently, we reiterate our Buy recommendation on the stock and our fair value estimate of PLN 70.5 per share.


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