Transport firm K&S forecasts weak first half result

Transport firm K&S Corporation (ASX: KSC) issued a trading update late Friday that reinforces earlier commentary by management of weak operating conditions.

The update stated: “weak trading conditions experienced in the second half of FY2013 have further deteriorated in the first quarter of FY2014. In the current environment it is extremely difficult to forecast upcoming trading conditions with absolute precision. However, based on currently available information, K&S Corporation anticipates that net profit after tax for the first half of FY2014 will be approximately 55% down on the prior comparative period.”

While the six months to December 2013 are set to be affected by weak trading, management did highlight a number of recent contract wins both in Western Australia and New Zealand that should benefit the firm in the second half, although to what degree it is too early to say.

K&S share price fell over 9% on Monday morning in response to the weak outlook. Even with the fall however, K&S’s shares have still performed in line with the S&P/ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) over the 12 months with both the index and K&S up around 19%. In contrast market leader Toll Holdings’ (ASX: TOL) share price is up 31%, while minnow Scott Corporation’s (ASX: SCC) share price has dramatically outperformed, returning nearly 59%.

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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur owns shares in Toll Holdings.

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