STOCKS NEWS THAILAND-Citi raises PTT price target
Citi Research raised its price target on PTT Pcl to 393 baht from 382 baht, saying it rolled over the price target to 2013 and expected strong natural gas business to boost earnings of Thailand's biggest energy firm next year.
PTT shares were down 0.6 percent at 317 baht while the benchmark SET index edged down 1 percent. The stock has lost 0.3 percent so far in 2012 versus a 2.4 percent gain of the energy subindex and a 26 percent gain of the SET index.
PTT's underperformance has been due to the government's policy to temporarily halt domestic gas price hikes, as well as one-off charges related to the Egypt gas pipeline investment and weak associate earnings in the first half, it said in a report dated Nov.7.
Citi expected PTT to achieve a 15 percent growth in earnings per share in 2013, driven by higher gas sales volume, an improving operating performance of the petrochemicals industry and resilient refining margins.
"FY13E EPS growth of 15 percent, led by natural gas, is the second-highest in the Asia integrated oil space. Favourable change in regulation on domestic CNG and LPG prices by 2015 would be an upside risk," it said.
Citi maintained a 'buy' rating on the stock.
1019 (0319 GMT)
(Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap in Bangkok; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu; email@example.com)
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