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

TELECOM ARGENTINA SA (TEC2)
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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]

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
REPSOL YPF -0.64% 16.25 End-of-day quote.10.21%
TELECOM ARGENTINA SA --End-of-day quote.
TELECOM ITALIA -1.91% 0.666 End-of-day quote.-5.76%
TELECOM ITALIA -0.13% 0.6666 Delayed Quote.-8.12%
TELEFONICA -0.57% 7.39 End-of-day quote.-9.05%
YPF SA --End-of-day quote.
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Financials ( ARS)
Sales 2018 128 B
EBIT 2018 25 410 M
Net income 2018 15 442 M
Debt 2018 18 671 M
Yield 2018 5,00%
P/E ratio 2018 15,69
P/E ratio 2019 12,56
EV / Sales 2018 0,76x
EV / Sales 2019 0,66x
Capitalization 77 786 M
Income Statement Evolution
Consensus
Sell
Buy
Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 3
Average target price 146  ARS
Spread / Average Target 21%
EPS Revisions
Managers
NameTitle
Carlos A. Moltini Chief Executive Officer
Alejandro Alberto Urricelqui Chairman
Gonzalo Hita Chief Operating Officer
Gabriel Pablo Blasi Chief Financial Officer
Miguel A. Fernandez Chief Technology Officer
Sector and Competitors
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TELECOM ARGENTINA SA2 832
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NIPPON TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE CORP-3.67%98 728
DEUTSCHE TELEKOM-8.96%74 284
SAUDI TELECOM COMPANY SJSC--.--%46 721
ORANGE-0.79%44 420