Vodacom Falls Most in 16 Months on Revenue: Johannesburg Mover

Vodacom Group Ltd., the largest provider of mobile-phone services in South Africa, declined the most in more than 16 months after third quarter domestic revenue contracted.

The stock retreated 4.2 percent, the biggest daily drop since September 2011, to 116.20 rand in Johannesburg. It fell to its lowest level since Nov. 9, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Volume traded was three times the three-month daily average. Today’s drop wiped 7.7 billion rand ($858 million) off the company’s market value.

Revenue from mobile voice, accounting for about half of domestic receipts, fell 2.3 percent to 7.6 billion rand ($850 million) for the three months through December, the company said today. Contribution from mobile messaging contracted 5.6 percent to 777 million rand.

“It’s a warning sign, a negative indicator, for mobile pricing going forward because of competition and aggressive promotion,” said Kate Turner-Smith, sub-Saharan Africa research analyst at Cape Town-based BPI Capital Africa, in a phone interview today. “The results weren’t bad enough to warrant such a decline.”

The number of active customers rose about 12 percent to 30.6 million in the quarter compared to a year earlier, the company said. Total revenue grew 1.7 percent to 18.3 billion rand. U.K-based Vodafone Group Plc owns 65 percent in Vodacom, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

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