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Mobile TeleSystems Swings To Net Loss In 1Q

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TheStreet.com  (May 26, 2009). On May 22, 2009, Mobile TeleSystems(MBT Quote) reported a net loss in its Q1 FY09 earnings, hurt by translation losses that affected the company's dollar denominated results. Net loss stood at $57.72 million or $0.00 per share from a profit of $610.15 million or $0.31 per share in Q1 FY08. The latest quarterly earnings missed the most recent consensus estimate of $0.77 per share. 
Net operating revenue plunged 24.0% to $1.81 billion from $2.38 billion a year ago, primarily due to local currency depreciation and seasonal factors. Service revenue and connection fees fell 25.0% to $1.78 billion. However, sales of handsets and accessories surged 398.0% to $28.31 million. Geographically, in local currency terms, revenue from Russia grew 7.5% to Russian ruble (RUB) 46.86 billion, revenue from Uzbekistan rose 28.1% to $101.70 million and Turkmenistan revenue also increased 69.7% to Turkmen Manat (TMT) 93.00 million. Additionally, revenue from Armenia edged up 5.0% to Armenian Dram AMD 17.85 billion. On the flip side, revenue from Ukraine declined 9.3% to Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH) 1.87 billion. 
In Q1 FY09, the company's total subscribers increased 8.7% to 96.61 million from 88.88 million in Q1 FY08. The increase was mainly led by a rise of 8.7% in its Russian base, a 67.7% expansion in the Uzbekistan subscriber base, a 44.4% surge in Armenian subscribers and an increase of 138.3% in its subscribers in Turkmenistan. 
During the quarter under review, the company acquired a 100.0% stake in Eldorado Centr LLC and Eldorado Communications Store LLC for $22.85 million, of which $5.00 million will be paid after 12 months based on certain performance criteria. Mobile TeleSystems also acquired Telefon.Ru, a mobile retailer. 
Recently, Mobile TeleSystems announced that it recommended the approval of an annual dividend of RUB 20.15 per ordinary Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) share or approximately $2.96 per ADR.

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