Golar LNG posts profit on strong demand; raises dividend
Aug 23 (Reuters) - Golar LNG, a liquefied natural gas shipping company, posted a quarterly profit as strong demand pushed up charter rates, and the company raised its dividend by 14 percent.
Growing demand in Asia and massive new LNG projects in Australia and the Middle East, which are under construction and planned for the next decade, are expected to further drive LNG shipping demand.
Golar, controlled by Norwegian shipping tycoon John Fredriksen, will pay a quarterly dividend of 40 cents per share. Analysts on average had expected 33 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company reported a profit of $35.4 million, or 44 cents per share, for the April-June quarter, compared with a loss of $1 million, or 1 cent per share, a year earlier.
Revenue rose 45 percent to $107 million.
Golar, which will delist from the Oslo Stock Exchange on Aug. 30, said its vessel Golar Maria - which was returned by its charterer in August - has been placed in the spot market and is trading at "attractive rates".
Shares of Oslo-based Golar, which have gained 17 percent in the last two months, closed at $39.42 on Wednesday on the Nasdaq.
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