Telenor Shares on the Up on Asia

Telenor ASA, the Nordic region’s largest phone company, rose the most in two months in Oslo trading after reporting fourth-quarter earnings that beat analyst estimates.


Telenor climbed as much as 2.90 kroner, or 3.3 percent, to 91.90 kroner, the biggest intraday jump since Dec. 2. The stock traded 2.7 percent higher as of 12:34 p.m.


Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was 6.96 billion kroner ($1.21 billion), more than the 6.86 billion kroner average estimate of 24 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The company improved its margin in Norway, Thailand and Malaysia as data use on handsets increased.


Asian revenue rose 13 percent in established operations, and Telenor reported a gain of 1.3 billion kroner from its holdings in VimpelCom Ltd. The Norwegian company said it forecasts revenue growth exceeding 5 percent this year, excluding acquisitions or disposals, approximately in line with growth for last year.


“Capital returns are strong for a growth stock,” Andrew Lee and other Goldman Sachs analysts wrote in a report.


Sales rose 11 percent to 24.9 billion kroner, beating the average Bloomberg estimate of 24.3 billion kroner. Net income declined to 2.1 billion kroner from 2.17 billion kroner a year earlier, Fornebu, Norway-based Telenor said today in a statement. Analysts had predicted profit of 2.56 billion kroner.


“Going forward, we expect significant long-term effects from the ongoing investments in network modernizations,” Chief Executive Officer Jon Fredrik Baksaas said in the statement. The company forecast this year’s Ebitda margin to be about 31 percent from 30.8 percent last year.


Telenor proposed a dividend of 3.80 kroner per share. The company will consider share buybacks in coming quarters, Chief Financial Officer Richard Olav Aa said on a teleconference.


The Uninor division in India, in which Telenor reached a majority stake last year, reported a fourth-quarter operating loss of 1.27 billion kroner. Subscriptions in the quarter rose by 4.3 million for a total 12.3 million at the end the year.


 

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