SmarTone Telecommunications will have returned to the black in the second half of last year after two consecutive years of losses, according to analysts. However, they were divided about the amount of profit the company would book when it announces its results today. Profit forecasts of six analysts ranged from HK$1 million to HK$44 million, with uncertainty particularly over the level of provisions. The firm began to book provisions on its Macau business last summer and analysts think the company might also make provisions for its broadband network. The third-largest mobile operator in Hong Kong is expected to generate earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation in excess of HK$1.25 billion for the six months to December 31 last year, primarily from its mobile business. HSBC Securities said the focus of these results would be on the degree to which the decline in revenue would be reversed and the depth of cost-cutting being achieved. It estimated that the average revenue per user would be improved to HK$214, from less than HK$200 last year, because of the new fees and charges introduced in June. Recently, fear of another price cut has prompted selling of SmarTone shares. The counter fell almost 30 per cent from a peak of HK$11 in the past 40 days, before rebounding to close at HK$9.50 last Friday. CSFB said the price war, which was characterised by rival Peoples Phone offering a monthly tariff as low as HK$68, was far from full-blown, and would not deteriorate significantly from here. It said the stock was oversold, and the market was not giving SmarTone credit for the expected sharp turnaround of its financials.