William Demant Holding A/S (WDH), Denmark’s biggest hearing-aid maker, rose the most in a month in Copenhagen after HSBC Holdings Plc said the share price reflects tough market conditions and focus will now turn to new products.
WDH gained as much as 1.9 percent, the most since Dec. 7. The stock added 1.5 percent to reach 497 kroner at 10:32 a.m. in the Danish capital, making it today’s biggest winner in the benchmark Nasdaq OMX Copenhagen 20 Index. (KFX) Trading volume was 17 percent of the three-month daily average.
Sales growth in the hearing-aid market was subdued last year by a lack of new products and lower European government reimbursements amid austerity policies. HSBC raised its recommendation on WDH’s stock to neutral from underweight, and said the company’s shares will benefit from new product introductions.
“Competition remains hard, but valuations and expectations have adjusted accordingly,” HSBC said in a note today. “Markets have accounted for a tougher environment.”
HSBC increased its price target on WDH’s shares to 510 kroner from 460 kroner. That brought the average 12-month estimate of 19 analysts tracking the stock to 498 kroner today, the highest since Dec. 3, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
WDH, based in Smoerum, Denmark, in November cut its 2012 profit forecast and said the global hearing-aid market wouldn’t grow in value that year. Earnings before interest and tax will fall “just short” of, or be on level with, 2011’s Ebit, compared with an August forecast that it would exceed the previous year’s profit, the company said Nov. 7.
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