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Petrofac Limited “Well Placed” To Capitalise On Mexico Reforms

Shares in Petrofac (LSE: PFC) shot up by 5% in early trade this morning, following positive interim results for the six-month period ending 30 June 2013.

The oil services group confirmed that it was on track to deliver a strong second half of the year — despite seeing revenue dip to $2.8bn from $3.2bn in the comparative period last year, profit fall to $243m (2012: $326m) and earnings per share drop to 70.72 cents from 94.82 cents — as the timing of key projects caused earnings to be “significantly weighted” towards the next six months.

Petrofac’s chief executive Ayman Asfari commented:

“Operationally, we have made a good start to the year on our portfolio of projects and we have built good momentum in securing new awards… Net profit for 2013 is expected to be significantly weighted towards the second half of the year, reflecting the phasing of Onshore Engineering & Construction and Integrated Energy Services project delivery.

“We look ahead with confidence in our ability to deliver a strong second-half performance and achieve our guidance of modest growth in net profit for 2013. Our high-quality portfolio of existing projects reflects our disciplined approach to bidding and managing risk, which, together with a strong pipeline of bidding opportunities and our competitive positioning, means that we remain on track to achieve our 2015 earnings target.”

With the Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto ‘opening up’ the oil and gas market in the country following reforms of its restrictions on foreign investment, Petrofac CFO Tim Weller stated “…there will be more investment being made in oil and gas infrastructure in Mexico, which could be an opportunity for service companies like ourselves”.

Management also confirmed the increase of the interim dividend, up 5% to 22 cents or 14.10p, putting Petrofac on a consensus forecast yield of 3.4%.

The share price remains 10% lower over the last 12 months, though whether you think today’s news marks a new era of growth for the group is up to you, of course. But if you are looking for alternative investment opportunities, this exclusive wealth report reviews five particularly attractive possibilities in the FTSE 100.

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> Sam does not own shares in Petrofac.