May 10, 2017 / 7:47 AM / 8 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Two major Saudi companies diverge on Q1 results amid quiet region

DUBAI, May 10 (Reuters) - Shares in Saudi Arabian construction firm Al Khodari fell 4.3 percent to percent to 11.00 riyals in the first 10 minutes of trade on Wednesday after the company reported a first-quarter loss.

Al Khodari, which has ongoing projects with the government, made a net loss of 17.8 million riyals against a net profit of 2.2 million riyals in same period last year.

Al Khodari attributed the poor results to a 50 percent decline in revenue, slow progress on ongoing projects, a decline in new project awards and liquidity challenges in the industry as a whole.

Of the five analysts covering the stock, two have a “sell” recommendation and the rest a “strong sell” with an average target price of 8.72 riyals.

Shares in majority state-owned Saudi Electricity (SEC) rose 2.8 percent after the company swung to a net profit of 4.94 billion riyals in the first quarter.

The company attributed the jump to the cancellation of accounts payable for municipality fees, as a result of a royal decree issued this year exempting the company from paying them.

The overall Riyadh index was up 0.1 percent.

Elsewhere, Dubai’s index lost 0.6 percent, with amusement park operator DXB Entertainments down 3.9 percent after reporting net losses widening to 287.4 million dirhams in the first quarter, only its second quarter of results.

DXB’s chief executive said the loss reflected the “normal trajectory of a business in its early phase of development”.

The company said it expected a dip in footfalls in the coming two quarters.

Abu Dhabi’s main index barely moved as large caps diverged; First Abu Dhabi Bank rose 0.5 percent but Aldar Properties <ADLR.AD was down by the same amount.

In Qatar, the index edged down 0.1 percent, with Qatar Water and Electricity falling 1.3 percent.

Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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