Mobile TeleSystems (NYSE:MBT) has turned down 0.5% in regular U.S. trading after it posted net profit that fell 12.8%, to 12.6B rubles (about $195.9M).
OIBDA (adjusted) fell 5.1% to 45.7B rubles, which beat an expected 44.76B rubles. The company took a hit from the disposal of its Uzbek operations (a 2.7B-ruble loss).
Revenues of 112.2B rubles missed consensus for 113B rubles.
Its total subscriber base, meanwhile, rose by 2.5% to 108.8M.
For 2016 the company reiterated its outlook for group revenue at 2-3% growth, and a 4% decline in group OIBDA. It expects subscriber growth in Russia, along with rising data usage and sustained data adoption in Russia and Ukraine. It sees increased handset sales in Russia and rising share in the Moscow B2C broadband/pay-TV markets.
Customers don't require any apps to make the calls; they can choose the Wi-Fi calling setting on their phones and MTS will route the calls accordingly. The move extends the company's ability to provide service in areas undercovered by cellular networks.
The launch begins in Moscow and the Moscow region, first for Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge users.
Mobile TeleSystems (NYSE:MBT) is up 3.4% after announcing a plan to buy back shares from minority holders.
Minority holders will be able to tender shares in a modified Dutch auction before Dec. 1 (or Nov. 30 in the case of MTS ADRs) for a price range of 199-229 rubles/share -- a price range running from a discount of 9.2% to a premium of 4.5%, Morgan Stanley notes.
And then MTS will buy up to 24,796,619 shares (1.24% of issued), maxing out at 4.9B rubles (about $77.4M) returned to shareholders.
MTS unit Stream Digital will act as offeror, and after completion of the offer, core MTS shareholder Sistema (with 50.65% of the company) will be able to sell its shares on a pro rata basis; it's not selling into the tender offer.
Based on the company's first-half results, the dividends will be 11.99 rubles (about $0.1925) per ordinary share and thus 23.98 rubles (about $0.3848) per ADR; that comes to a total of about 23.961B rubles (about $384.3M).
The record date for shareholders and ADR holders is set at Oct. 14, and the dividend payment will be completed before Nov. 21.
The acquisition, of SMARTS-Yoshkar-Ola, cost 41M rubles (about $632,000), including debt of 27.7M rubles, and is handled through MTS' wholly owned subsidiary Telecom Povolzhye. The SMARTS unit is active in the Republic of Mari El.
The deal will not only build MTS presence in Mari El but add spectrum of 14.8 MHz in the 1800 MHz range, helping MTS further develop its LTE networks.
Mobile Telesystems (NYSE:MBT) fell 3.6% today after it posted Q2 earnings that were slightly weaker than expected amid tough competition.
OIBDA fell 4.3% to 40.89B rubles (OIBDA margin of almost 38%), while group revenue rose 5.3% to 108.1B rubles amid "strong retail sales; stable service revenue despite ongoing weaker usage in certain mobile market segments; growth in B2C home Internet and pay-TV markets; and growth in Ukraine through the steady adoption of 3G data services."
Competition has a "sustained impact" on effective pricing, said CEO Andrei Dubovskov, and combined with macroeconomic volatility dampened results.
Fixed-line revenues fell 2.8% to 15.3B rubles, while total revenue in Russia rose 3.3% to 97.4B rubles (90% of total).
Free cash flow was 24B rubles to date, up 22% Y/Y. Capex came to almost 40B rubles.
For 2016, it now sees revenue at 2-3% growth, and expects OIBDA to fall 4% mainly due to the sale of UMS. Group capex is affirmed at 85B rubles.
That comes amid a series of investigations by the U.S. and other countries of the three mobile operators in Uzbekistan (MTS, Telia, VimpelCom) in a bribery scandal involving the daughter of Uzbek President Islam Karimov.
MTS had provided services through a subsidiary, Uzunrobita, under the MTS Uzbekistan brand. But the unit had its license suspended on charges of unpaid taxes in 2012, and went bankrupt. MTS then resumed service in Uzbekistan in December 2014 with the UMS joint venture.
All the staff of UMS with Russian citizenship have left Uzbekistan except the CEO, Interfax says.
Losses could come as high as 45B rubles ($688M), almost 9% of MTS overall market value.
Top 10 Holdings as of 5/31/2016: CNOOC Ltd (OTCPK:CEOHF): 4.37205%, Gazprom PJSC ADR (OTCPK:OGZPY): 4.00976%, MMC Norilsk Nickel JSC ADR (OTCPK:NILSY): 3.5522%, PJSC Lukoil GDR (LUKUF): 3.21156%, China Construction Bank Corp H (OTCPK:CICHF): 2.65871%, Chunghwa Telecom Co Ltd (2412): 2.12161%, Industrial And Commercial Bank Of China Ltd H (OTCPK:IDCBF): 1.96586%, Ptt PLC DR (OTC:PUTRF): 1.57664%, Mobile TeleSystems PJSC ADR (MBT): 1.54441%, MTN Group Ltd (OTCPK:MTNOF): 1.54063%
Top 10 Holdings as of 4/29/2016: Gazprom PJSC ADR (OTCPK:OGZPY): 4.41%, CNOOC Ltd (OTCPK:CEOHF): 4.22%, MMC Norilsk Nickel JSC ADR (OTCPK:NILSY): 3.44%, PJSC Lukoil GDR (LUKUF): 3.31%, China Construction Bank Corp H (OTCPK:CICHF): 2.47%, Vale SA (VALE3): 2.02%, Chunghwa Telecom Co Ltd (2412): 1.98%, MTN Group Ltd (OTCPK:MTNOF): 1.93%, Industrial And Commercial Bank Of China Ltd H (OTCPK:IDCBF): 1.87%, Mobile TeleSystems PJSC ADR (MBT): 1.52%
Mobile TeleSystems (NYSE:MBT) is 2.4% lower in U.S. trading after Q1 earnings where OIBDA beat expectations but per-share earnings came up short.
In GAAP terms, EPS of 7.29 rubles was well short of an estimated 10.95 rubles (one estimate). Revenues grew nearly 8%; revenue in Russia was up 6.5%, to 96.3B rubles. "We continue to see sustained demand for data throughout our key markets, which continues to drive growth in both Russia and Ukraine."
Free cash flow came to 20.5B rubles (up 37%); with cash flow from operations stable, the gain came as capex fell 28% to 18B rubles.
It says the board has tasked management to consider a share repurchase program that could allocate up to 30B rubles (about $448M) for a three-year plan.
The company reiterated its full-year guidance for group revenue growth of more than 4% (in line with expectations), adjusted OIBDA growth of -2% to 1% (vs. expected -0.6%), and cutting capex to 85B rubles.