Lamprell shares swing wildly on mixed bag of news

Shares in Lamprell faltered then jumped after it announced details of even greater losses for 2012 but said it was on the road to recovery.

Shares in Lamprell faltered then jumped after it announced details of even greater losses for 2012 but said it was on the road to recovery.

The oil and gas engineering firm now anticipates a total projected loss for 2012 of around $105m.

The costs were pinpointed by an independent review of the business, which uncovered further losses and delays on a number of projects.

The news had initially pushed the shares down around 10% in early trading.

However, the company said despite the significantly higher forecast of losses it would move back into the black during 2013.

Lamprell also said it remained in discussions with its lenders to seek waiver of certain of its banking covenants before the year-end, and a reset of applicable covenants in the first quarter of 2013.

"The company expects 2013 to be a recovery year, with revenue broadly flat compared to 2012 and a gradual return to profitability during the year," its statement said.

This positive tone was helped by analysts at Liberium Capital declaring the share price did not reflect the underlying value of its business and that the outfit has "competitive advantages" in many of its markets.

With the bulls in the ascendency the shares were up 18% by 11:15.

The new losses announced on Monday included around $28m on its Windcarrier 1 and Windcarrier 2 projects.

Amongst others, the firm's Caspian Sea jack-up project is expected to see a shortfall for 2012 of $24.6m, while bad debts and other losses are slated to come in at $8.1m.

At the start of October the firm lost 40% of its share value after it said delays and extra costs would make 2012 losses significantly larger than expected.

At the time the firm announced a purge at the top, saying "changes to the leadership and senior management team are required to ensure Lamprell begins to rebuild its reputation with both investors and customers".

It has since re-appointed former Chief Executive Peter Whitbread, as well as Frank Nelson as Chief Financial Officer.

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