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4-Traders Homepage  >  Equities  >  BOLSA DE COMERCIO DE BUENOS AIRES  >  Telecom Argentina SA    TEC2   ARP9028N1016

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Telecom Argentina CEO Downplays Nationalization Fears

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05/04/2012 | 06:33pm CEST
   By Ken Parks 
   Of  
 

Telecom Argentina SA's (TEO, TECO2.BA) chief executive said Friday that he doesn't expect the telecommunications firm will be nationalized like oil company YPF SA (YPF, YPFD.BA).

"We are quite happy to operate here. We haven't had any indication [from the government], and honestly don't expect any surprises in that respect," Chief Executive Franco Bertone said during a conference call with analysts.

On Thursday, Congress gave President Cristina Kirchner the greenlight to seize a 51% stake in YPF from Spain's Repsol YPF SA (REPYY, REP.MC) just three weeks after she submitted the expropriation bill.

Kirchner says the takeover is necessary because Repsol didn't invest enough in YPF to reverse years of declining oil and gas production that have turned Argentina into a net energy importer. Repsol has denied the charges and said it will fight the takeover in the courts.

Kirchner's swift nationalization of the country's largest corporation has fueled speculation that other former state-run companies that were privatized in the 1990s might soon return to government hands.

Telecom Argentina and rival Telefonica de Argentina, a subsidiary of Spain's Telefonica SA (TEF), were created when state-run phone giant Entel was broken up and privatized.

The government is already a major shareholder in more than two dozen local corporations after Kirchner nationalized the private pension system in 2008.

Pension agency Anses owns 25% of Telecom Argentina alone. The company's other direct and indirect shareholders include Telecom Italia SpA (TI, TIT.MI), Telefonica, and Argentina's Werthein family.

Telecom Argentina's shares traded in New York were recently down 0.6% at $13.92 Friday, giving the company a market capitalization of about $2.7 billion.

Asked if management would consider a share buyback program to address the stock's rock bottom valuation, Bertone said no plans are on the table.

"We agree with your view on that metric of the company," he added.

-By Ken Parks, Dow Jones Newswires; 54-11-4103-6740, [email protected]

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Financials ( ARS)
Sales 2017 64 050 M
EBIT 2017 9 822 M
Net income 2017 -
Debt 2017 10 489 M
Yield 2017 2,20%
P/E ratio 2017 12,64
P/E ratio 2018 13,94
EV / Sales 2017 0,77x
EV / Sales 2018 0,68x
Capitalization 39 083 M
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Consensus
Sell
Buy
Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 4
Average target price 91,5  ARS
Spread / Average Target 12%
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Managers
NameTitle
Omar Chafi Félix President
Mariano Marcelo Ibáñez Chairman
Anibal R. Gómez Chief Operating Officer
Ignacio Cruz Morán Chief Financial Officer
Paolo Perfetti Technology Director
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