(Adds FD, analyst comments, share price)
LONDON, July 1 British engineer Hunting,
which makes equipment for use in oil and gas wells, said it was
benefiting from growing business in the Gulf of Mexico and U.S.
oil shale industry, defying a trend of earnings disappointments
in the sector.
Companies such as Saipem, Aker and
Subsea 7 - suppliers of everything from rigs to teams
of engineers - have issued profit warnings this year, triggering
worries among investors about the oil services and equipment
Shares in Hunting gained 6.9 percent in Monday morning
trading, topping Britain's midcap index, which was up
"We've come out with a statement saying steady as she goes,
there's no surprise to our numbers, we remain in line with
expectations, so I think the market has probably reacted
favourably to that," Finance Director Peter Rose told Reuters.
Hunting also said it would establish a new facility in South
Africa to provide kit for wells in East Africa, in Tanzanian and
Mozambican waters. Drilling successes there have led to
predictions that the region could become the world's third
largest exporter of gas.
Rose said Hunting would initially spend around $20 million
on the project, adding it was close to buying a property and the
facility would be up and running at some point next year.
Analysts currently expect the company to post core earnings
(EBITDA) of 167.4 million pounds ($253.9 million) for 2013,
according to Reuters data.
"Given that many investors see 2013 as a potentially
disappointing year given the company's positioning, this level
of growth against headwinds should reassure them, especially
since momentum should pick up from here," Barclays analyst Mick
($1 = 0.6593 British pounds)
(Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Mark Potter)