China Gas Holdings Ltd. (384), the target of a $2 billion hostile bid from ENN Energy Holdings Ltd. (2688) and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (600028), posted a 52 percent increase in annual profit, beating estimates, after sales gained.
Net income in the 12 months ended March 31 climbed to HK$954 million ($123 million), or 20.55 cents a share, from HK$626 million, or 14.6 cents, a year earlier, China Gas said in a Hong Kong stock exchange filing today. The average estimate of 11 analysts compiled by Bloomberg was a profit of HK$946 million. Revenue rose 19 percent to HK$18.9 billion.
Higher profit and rising demand for cleaner-burning natural gas may intensify the battle for control of China Gas, a seller of subsidized fuel in canisters and pipelines. The stock has gained 36 percent since the ENN-led bid on Dec. 13 as some of the company’s biggest shareholders increased their holdings.
China Gas shares fell 1.6 percent to HK$3.81 before the earnings announcement. The benchmark Hang Seng Index declined 0.8 percent.
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