Mobile TeleSystems to Rise on Customer Cost Cut, Troika Says

OAO Mobile TeleSystems (MBT) shares are poised for gains if the company, Russia’s largest mobile-phone operator, continues to reduce its spending to win new customers, according to Troika Dialog Group Ltd.

“MTS shares are cheap compared to other telecom companies and if it continues to control its subscriber acquisition costs like it did in the third quarter, the shares will rise,” Anna Lepetukhina, an analyst at Troika Dialog, said in a phone interview today from Moscow. Costs can include marketing programs and sales commissions, she said.

Troika rates the shares “buy” and estimates full-year earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization at $4.93 billion.

American depositary receipts of the Moscow-based company fell 3.4 percent to $14.66 at the close of trading in New York. They have declined 30 percent this year.

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