WHAT THE BROKER SAYS
Nomura believes the earnings growth of China Mobile (Hong Kong) in 2006 could beat expectations if the company's subscriber additions for February become a trend. China Mobile announced this month that subscriber additions last month reached 4.2 million, a monthly record, to push its total subscriber numbers to 254.9 million.
The broker points out that February was a short month and should have been a seasonally low month for growth because of the Lunar New Year holidays. The figure shows benign competition from PHS and China Unicom and justifies the increase in the 2006-08 capital expenditure budget.
China Mobile's subscriber growth tends to accelerate in the second half of the year, so the February figure may point to upward revisions in subscriber and revenue growth over the next few months.
The stock looks undemanding at a price/earnings ratio of about 11.6 times forecast earnings for 2006. The broker's fair value remains $45 and its 'buy' recommendation stands. The counter closed on Friday at $38.55.