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Opera Surges as Operator Business Boosts Sales: Oslo Mover

Aug. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Opera Software ASA, the Norwegian maker of Internet browsers, rose the most in more than 14 months in Oslo trading amid optimism over growing sales in its mobile operator business.

The shares in the Oslo-based company rose as much as 14 percent, the most since May 29, 2012, and were up 12.5 percent at 54 kroner as of 2:13 p.m. in the Norwegian capital, making it the biggest mover on the Bloomberg European Internet Index. More than 1 million shares have traded so far today, more than five times the three-month average daily volume.

Opera, whose cross-platform Internet browser competes with those of Apple Inc., Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp., is seeking to boost sales by targeting a growing mobile-phone data market that will see 5 billion smartphone users by 2016.

Cloud-based operator data and license sales rose 61 percent to $14.8 million in the second-quarter, Opera said in a statement today. That compares with a 12 percent decline in sales during 2012. Group sales rose to $73 million in the quarter from $52 million a year earlier.

“Focus should clearly be on the operator side,” Espen Torgersen, an analyst at Carnegie ASA, said by phone. The “substantial” growth in sales to operators eased investor concerns on operator sales and that it may have overpaid when it bought Skyfire Labs Inc. in February, he said.

He has a buy rating.

Opera raised sales guidance for the year to $290 million to $298 million from the $280 million to $295 million range it guided in the first quarter, the company said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Treloar in Oslo at streloar1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christian Wienberg at cwienberg@bloomberg.net

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