China Mobile, the world's #1 wireless provider, said this morning its Q4 2006 profits increased 19% to 19.9 billion yuan ($2.6 billion) from 16.7 yuan in Q4 2005. Sales were up 13% from 70.6 to 82.7 billion yuan. Net income figures were slightly lower than analyst consensus estimates of 20.5 billion yuan. Full year net profit was 66 billion yuan, up from 53.6 billion. EPS went from 2.71 to 3.29 yuan. Full year revenue gained 18% going from 243 to 295 billion yuan. The company added 14 million subscribers in Q4 and 53 million on the year. CEO Wang Jianzhou says the company will continue to grow profits by offering faster music and movie downloads through a $3.1 billion network that will start trials in October. He said its strong income numbers came from its development of Chinese rural markets. The company, with 301 million subscribers, controls about 65% of the Chinese moblile market.
Sources: Bloomberg I, II, MarketWatch
Commentary: The Mobile Phone Megatrend: Exploring the New Frontier • Despite the Rumors, iPhone is Not for China • Environment for Chinese Mobile Content Aggregators Will Remain Challenging
Stocks/ETFs to watch: China Mobile (Hong Kong) Ltd. (NYSE:CHL). Competitors: China Telecom Corp Ltd (NYSE:CHA), China Unicom Ltd. (NYSE:CHU), China Netcom Group Corp. (NYSEARCA:CN)
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