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Telecom Argentina Posts Best Week Since 2009 on Cheap Valuation

Telecom Argentina SA posted its biggest weekly gain since 2009 as investors were attracted to its cheap valuation and high dividend yield relative to Latin American peers.

Shares rose 3.3 percent to 20.65 pesos at the close in Buenos Aires as trading surged to more than five-times the three-month daily average. Today’s gain pushed the weekly five-day advance to 15 percent, the best weekly performance since June 2009.

Telecom Argentina, the country’s largest mobile phone operator after America Movil SAB’s Claro, has risen for seven consecutive sessions and increased 34 percent this month, the best-performing Latin American stock with a market value over $1 billion after Brazil’s Tupy SA.

“Telecom has a very attractive balance sheet and it still doesn’t look expensive, even after these gains,” Carlos Aszpis, an equity strategist at brokerage Schweber & Cia., said in a phone interview from Buenos Aires.

The company trades at 7.9 times its trailing 12-month earnings, 46 percent below the average of Latin American telecommunication companies, while its dividend yield is 4.1 percent, above the average 3.9 percent for its peers, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Telecom Argentina has a 33 percent share of Argentina’s mobile phone market, compared with 34 percent for Claro, according to data from Signals Telecom Consulting.

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