STORY: Maersk raised its full-year profit guidance on Thursday (May 2).

It now expects full-year underlying earnings of between $4 billion and $6 billion - up from previous guidance of a minimum of $1 billion.

The shipping giant also posted quarterly earnings of $1.59 billion.

That was less than half the number a year earlier, but beat analyst projections.

Maersk cited strong container shipping demand and vessels taking longer routes around Africa.

The Danish firm and its rivals have diverted ships around Africa since December to avoid attacks by Houthi militants on vessels in the Red Sea.

The move has sent freight rates higher due to longer sailing times.

Still, the company posted a third straight quarterly loss in its ocean container shipping division, due to higher costs related to Red Sea disruptions.

But Maersk said it would push more of those costs on to customers, which would make its ocean division more profitable in the second quarter.

The company had previously warned a wave of new container vessels entering the market would cause overcapacity and hurt profit.

Spot freight rates tripled to almost $3,500 a container at the beginning of the year but have since eased to about $2,400.

Shares were down 5% after the update, but recovered and was later down 3%.