Hutchison Whampoa

Analysts bullish on Hutchison

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 March, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 March, 2007, 12:00am

Shares in Hutchison Whampoa rose as much as 1.19 per cent yesterday after analysts upgraded forecasts for the company's share-price target and earnings following a smaller than expected loss in its third-generation mobile-telephone business last year.

The stock climbed to HK$76.30 in the morning before pulling back to close 0.6 per cent ahead at HK$75.40.

Hutchison on Thursday said profit rose 40 per cent last year to HK$20.03 billion, in line with market expectations.

Owing to the improved valuation of Hutchison's global 3G business, Credit Suisse raised its 12-month price target for the stock by 3 per cent to HK$100, while Merrill Lynch doubled its earnings forecast for this year to HK$30.8 billion.

Macquarie said Hutchison could undergo a restructuring of its global 3G business in order to achieve its proposed 3G operating guidance.

Hutchison yesterday maintained its forecast for its 3G business, saying it could achieve positive monthly earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation and break even at the operating level next year.

UBS expects the firm's 3G business to be close to ebitda break-even in the first half of this year amid a strong improvement in its British operations in the past two months.