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Nation Media Climbs to 4-Year High on Profit Bets: Nairobi Mover

March 13 (Bloomberg) -- Nation Media Group Ltd., East Africa’s biggest media company, rose to the highest level in more than four and a half years on speculation profit growth accelerated last year.

The stock climbed as much as 5.7 percent to 297 shillings and traded at 282 shillings by 1:24 p.m. in Nairobi, the strongest intraday level since July 2008.

First-half profit jumped 25 percent to 915 million shillings ($10.7 million) as revenue increased 13 percent, the company said in August. Nation Media is scheduled to announce full-year earnings on March 20.

“I am expecting very good numbers and a lot of guys are taking positions,” Davis Mika, an analyst at Nairobi-based Contrarian Investing Kenya Ltd., said by phone. “My estimate is for 30 percent growth in profit.”

Nation Media said in August it partnered with Diamond Trust Bank Kenya Ltd. to offer a money-transfer card. The service, known as NationHela, allows Kenyans living abroad to send money back home and domestic users pay utility bills.

“There is expectation of very strong numbers mainly because advertising revenue has been pretty good and they’ve done pretty well in diversifying their products,” Eric Musau, a research analyst at Nairobi-based Standard Investment Bank Ltd., said in a phone interview. “We have been seeing investors building up the stock.”

Nation Media has advanced 28 percent this year, compared with a 26 percent rally for 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: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net

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