Despite posting the highest net income among the nation’s three listed container shippers last quarter, Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp (陽明海運) remained in the red for the first three quarters of this year, dragged by its heavy net losses recorded in the first half of the year.
The nation’s second-largest container shipping company in terms of fleet size, Yang Ming posted a net income of NT$1.05 billion (US$35.47 million), or earnings per share of N$0.32, in the third quarter, compared with net losses of NT$2.64 billion, or losses per share of NT$0.81, recorded in the second quarter, the firm said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
But last quarter's results included a one-off accounting gain of NT$2.3 billion, or NT$0.65 per share. Without the accounting gains, the company should have reported a net loss of NT$1.3 billion last quarter, according to Barclays Capital Securities.
With a net income of NT$1.05 billion,Yang Ming’s profit for the July-to-September period is higher than Evergreen Marine Corp’s (長榮海運) NT$48.55 million, or earnings per share of NT$0.01, and Wan Hai Lines Ltd’s (萬海航運) NT$329.42 million, or earnings per share of NT$0.15.
Nonetheless, Yang Ming's earnings made last quarter was still not enough to put the company back in the black in the first three quarters. Overall, the company reported net losses of NT$4.28 billion, or losses per share of NT$1.31, in the first nine months of the year, the weakest results among the three shippers.
Wan Hai, the nation’s third-largest container shipping company which is focused on regional routes in Asia, made a profit for the sixth consecutive quarter as of the end of September, on the back of relatively steady cargo demand and freight rates in Asia.
But last quarter's earnings of NT$0.15 per share were down 23 percent quarter-on-quarter and 28 percent year-on-year largely driven by exchange losses.
However, the company was the only Taiwanese container shipper to make a profit in the first three quarters of the year, with net income of NT$881.21 million, or earnings per share of NT$0.4.
Evergreen Marine, the nation’s largest container shipper, last quarter swung back into profit from net losses of NT$400.54 million in the April-to-June period, but the company still posted a net loss of NT$2.19 billion, or losses per share of NT$0.63, in the first three quarters of the year.
Capital Securities Corp (群益證券) said the container shipping sector might see lower profitability this quarter in view of recent signs of slowing increases of freight rates.
The story has been updated with additional information since it was first published.