Safaricom of Kenya Jumps to More Than 4-Year High: Nairobi Mover

Safaricom Ltd. (SAFCOM) climbed to the higest in more than 4 1/2 years on bets earnings per share in the fiscal year ending this month will grow as much as 38 percent, according to Standard Investment Bank.

Shares in the mobile-phone carrier, Kenya’s biggest company by market value, rose 2.5 percent to 6.15 shillings by the 3 p.m. close in Nairobi, the highest since July 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. About 10 million shares were traded, or 66 percent of the three-month daily average.

“The market is expecting the company to report good numbers,” Eric Musau, a research analyst at Nairobi-based Standard Investment Bank, said by phone today.

Safaricom, which is 40 percent owned by Vodafone Plc, said profit in the fiscal first half to Sept. 30 almost doubled to 7.77 billion shillings ($91 million). Income from MPESA, the company’s mobile money-transfer service, grew by a third to 10.4 billion shillings as the number of customers advanced to 15.2 million.

Shares in Safaricom have rallied 22 percent this year, outperforming an 18 percent rise in the Nairobi Securities Exchange All-Share Index.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Ombok in Nairobi at eombok@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vernon Wessels at vwessels@bloomberg.net

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