Weir shares soar on North American recovery

Shares of Glasgow-based engineering giant Weir Group rose more than 7% after it gave an update to its 2017 outlook that “reflects accelerated recovery in North American oil and gas markets.”

Weir said the updated outlook for the group’s full year performance “is now for strong constant currency revenue and profit growth.”

It said that “assuming supportive market conditions continue” the group’s oil and gas division is now expected to deliver full year revenues and operating profits “that are above the upper end of analysts’ estimates.”

Weir shares rose 7.4% to 1,959p to give the firm a current stock market value of about £4.3 billion.

“In recent weeks, upstream North American markets have recovered more strongly than formerly anticipated,” said Weir.

“Higher levels of frack fleet utilisation and significant tightening of industry capacity are both benefiting the group’s oil & gas division. 

“As a result, it has seen increased volumes, stronger operating leverage and modest pricing recovery ahead of prior expectations, and has delivered low double-digit operating margins in the first half.  

“Assuming supportive market conditions continue, the division is now expected to deliver low-teens operating margins through the second half with full year revenues and operating profits that are above the upper end of analysts’ estimates. 

“At group level, this growth will be partially offset by one-off charges to operating profit of £13 million related to previously announced legacy contract delivery challenges in the Gabbioneta business, part of the group’s flow control division. 

“Expectations for the minerals division remain unchanged.”