MTN share price plunges after group misses profit forecasts
The cellphone operator has returned to profit, as it puts its enormous Nigerian fine behind it, but investors seem to have been hoping for a stronger rebound
MTN’s share price dropped 7% on Thursday after it missed analysts’ earnings forecasts. The cellphone network operator, which has operations in 22 countries in Africa and the Middle East, is back in the black after reporting losses in 2016. MTN expects basic headline earnings per share of between 210c and 230c and basic earnings per share of between 280c and 300c for the six months to June. During the matching period in 2016, the company reported a headline loss per share and an attributable loss per share of 271c and 301c, respectively, due to items such as a $1.6bn Nigerian regulatory fine, professional fees related to the fine and exchange rate fluctuations. A Thomson Reuters consensus of 17 analysts forecast an earnings per share mean estimate of 628c for the 2017 financial year, Momentum SP Reid Securities analyst Sibonginkosi Nyanga said. However, considering the trading update, the rolling earnings per share for the full year were lower than the market had been expecting of be...