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Idea Cellular Surges After Profit Beats Estimates: Mumbai Mover

Idea Cellular Ltd., India’s second-biggest mobile-phone operator by market value, climbed to the highest level in more than five years in Mumbai trading after reporting quarterly profit that beat analyst estimates.

Shares rose as much as 11 percent to 128.70 rupees, headed for the highest price since January 2008. They traded at 125.25 rupees, or up 7.6 percent, as of 11:08 a.m. in Mumbai. The stock had the second-biggest percentage gain today on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index. The key S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.4 percent.

Net income rose 29 percent to 3.08 billion rupees ($56.8 million) in the fourth quarter ended March, the mobile-phone operator said yesterday. That’s the highest profit it has posted since the quarter ended June 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It also exceeded the 2.67 billion-rupee median of 26 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The earnings show that “market consolidation and competitive improvement is happening rapidly,” Sunil Tirumalai and Chunky Shah, analysts at Credit Suisse Group AG, wrote in a note today and raised their rating to outperform from neutral. “We continue to believe that tariff rationalization should result in revenue per minute upticks in coming quarters.”

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