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Moller Maersk shares fall as outlook dents optimism over upbeat Q3 results

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AP Moller Maersk shares are lower Wednesday, despite the shipping company reporting expectations beating third quarter results. The reason for the downbeat tone comes from the company’s outlook; it said that if the US-China trade dispute isn’t resolved, it could affect global demand for its services.

By around 1045 BST, Moller Maersk shares were 1.95% lower at DKK8,560.00. The stock has been moving mainly higher, in recent weeks.

Maersk’s Q3 earnings

Earlier Wednesday, the Danish shipping giant said that its third quarter performance was positive. Revenues climbed 31% to $10.1 billion, from $7.7 billion a year earlier. Its Q3 EBITDA profit, meanwhile, grew 12% to $1.14 billion, up from $97 million in Q3 2017.

It added that its average freight rates were 5.5% higher than a year earlier, during the period. Meanwhile, its Ocean shipping activity volumes were up 5% in Q3 from the same period in 2017.

“Well into our transformation, we are progressing with the integration of our business to better serve customers and unlock the full growth potential within Logistics & Services,” said AP Moller Maersk CEO, Soren Skou.

“As a result, I am pleased to see revenue growth in Q3 across the business, including supply chain services. Our profitability and cash flow is improving, positively impacted by the emergency bunker surcharge announced due to the significant increase in bunker price, synergies from Hamburg Süd and strong collaboration between Ocean and our terminal activities,” Skou added.

Trade tensions could hurt

However, while the earnings numbers impressed, the company’s outlook was the cause of caution among investors.

Maersk said that continued US-China trade disagreements could have a notable impact on its operations, going forward. It now expects EBITDA profits of between $3.6-4 billion in the full year 2018. That’s down from guidance of $3.5-$4.2 billion.

“The guidance continues to be subject to uncertainties due to the current risk of further restrictions on global trade and other factors impacting container freight rates, bunker prices and rate of exchange,” Maersk said.

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