Vestas shares plummet on order intake and U.S. uncertainty

COPENHAGEN(Reuters) - Shares in wind turbine maker Vestas VWS.CO fell as much as 12% on Wednesday despite better than expected third-quarter operating profit, with sentiment hit by the company's order intake and uncertainty over the U.S. presidential election.

Workers use tools to smooth out a blade for a wind-turbine at the Vestas Wind Technology company's factory, located in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin September 14, 2010. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo GLOBAL BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD. SEARCH GLOBAL BUSINESS 5 FEB FOR ALL IMAGES

The world’s largest manufacturer of wind turbines said the value of new orders between July and September totaled 3.1 billion euros ($3.61 billion), below the 3.5 billion expected by analysts in a poll gathered by the company.

Shares were trading 7.4% down at 0812 GMT, their lowest since Sept. 30.

The Danish company has benefited from growing demand for renewable power sources in tandem with global efforts to combat climate change, but the outlook is clouded by the U.S. election.

Democrat candidate Joe Biden is running on a bold $2 trillion clean energy plan to boost renewable energy and shift away from fossil fuels, but uncertainty about the election outcome weighed on Vestas shares, analysts said.

Vestas maintained its full-year guidance, forecasting revenue at 14-15 billion euros and an EBIT margin of 5-7%.

“Demand for wind energy remained strong in the quarter, even though green stimulus packages are yet to materialise,” Chief Executive Henrik Andersen said in a statement.

The company said third-quarter operating profit (EBIT) before special items fell 4% to 412 million euros ($479.5 million), compared with expectations for 373 million euros in a poll of analysts compiled by the company.

Revenue rose 31% to 4.77 billion euros, above analyst expectations of 4.11 billion euros.

Vestas said turbine deliveries stood at a record 5,991 megawatts (MW) between July and September despite “logistical challenges and supply chain bottlenecks amplified by the COVID-19 situation”.

($1 = 0.8593 euros)

Reporting by Tim Barsoe; Editing by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen and David Goodman