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Swimming With The Salmon


Inside Wall Street

SWIMMING WITH THE SALMON

Seafood lovers or not, some investment pros have been bagging shares of Marine Harvest International, particularly after they fell to 6 1/2 from 12 last October. Marine Harvest is a world leader in aquaculture--the breeding, farming and harvesting of seafood. "Harvest is a way to participate in the young and rapidly growing aquaculture industry," says H. Lloyd Kanev, an analyst at Smith Barney Shearson, who has upgraded his rating on the stock to a buy.

The stock's current price, says Kanev, reflects little, if any, of the potential growth of the aquaculture industry. Marine's farming of Atlantic salmon is located in Scotland and Chile; the shrimp operations are based in Ecuador. In 1993, Marine shipped some 15,500 metric tons of salmon, or 5.7% of the world's salmon supply. Its major markets: Japan, the U.S., and Europe. Kanev cautions that because of the difficulty in accurately forecasting salmon prices, his estimate of 40 a share in 1994 and 75 in 1995 could be off the mark a bit, but the trend is definitely up. Worldwide consumption of farmed salmon is growing at 35% a year, and demand for Western White shrimp is increasing at a 24% annual rate.

Hanson PLC owns a 27% stake, and Hanson Vice-Chairman David Clarke holds 8.4%. Management owns 14%.


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