STOCKS NEWS THAILAND-Major Cineplex at all-time high on profit prospects

Fri May 4, 2012 4:41am EDT

Shares in Thailand's biggest cinema operator, Major Cineplex Group Pcl, hit an all-time high on Friday on expectations of strong first quarter earnings after floods hurt business last year.

The company's shares surged 8.1 percent to 21.3 baht, climbing at one point to a record 21.7 baht. About 13.3 million shares were traded which was 3.23 times the average volume over the last 30 sessions.

The broader SET index fell 0.67 percent

Fourteen out of 17 analysts tracking the company have a buy or strong buy rating, two rate it as a hold and one has a strong sell rating.

Broker Maybank Kim Eng Securities said it raised the stock's fair value to 23.50 baht ($0.76) and forecast a 22 percent rise in earnings over the previous year.

"The profit tends to expand into the second quarter during the high ads season and strong box office income ... In the second half, Major plans to launch at least 30 theatres. With a positive outlook, we have revised up 2012 profit projection," the broker said in a report.

1506 (0806 GMT)

(Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap in Bangkok; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani; viparat.jantraprapaweth@thomsonreuters.com)

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12:23 STOCKS NEWS THAILAND-Citigroup raises LPN target price

Citigroup raised its target price on LPN Development Pcl LPN.BK to 16.3 baht ($0.53) from 15.5 baht after its valuation rerating that reflected consistency in revenue growth and stong earnings visibility of the condominium developer.

But the broker said it had cut its rating on the stock to neutral from buy, citing a limited upside to 2012 estimated earnings to drive the share price further.

"Presales momentum could slow in the second half as new launches for 2012 remain front-loaded in the first half despite launch schedule reshuffling," Citi said in a report.

LPN shares were trading down 1.2 percent at 16.7 baht, with about 6.15 million shares traded, 1.26 times average full-day volume over the last 30 sessions.

1212 (0512 GMT)

(Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap in Bangkok; viparat.jantraprapaweth@thomsonreuters.com)

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11:03 STOCKS NEWS THAILAND-Total Access falls after weak Q1

Shares in Total Access Communication Pcl DTAC.BK fell nearly 1 percent to a week low after the country's second-largest mobile phone operator posted a 10 percent drop in quarterly net profit, missing forecasts, partly due to higher concession fees.

For the company earnings statement, click

The company believes higher-than-expected costs in the first quarter will subside from the second quarter due to less marketing for its Wi-Fi service, and sees upside potential from voice revenue in the second quarter with the launch of a more attractive voice package, brokerage KGI Securities said in a report.

"Overall we are still comfortable with our earnings growth forecast of 8 percent year on year for this year," it said.

"DTAC is also our top pick for the sector as it will be the prime beneficiary of the upcoming 3G licensing and a less stringent foreign dominance rule."

KGI has a target price on Total Access shares of 100 baht.

Total Access shares slid to 81 baht, the lowest since April 27. The stock has risen 16.6 percent so far this year, underperforming the 20.6 percent gain in the broader SET index .SETI.

Out of 23 analysts tracking the company, 15 have a buy or strong buy rating, four rate it as a hold and four have a sell and strong sell rating.

1040 (0340 GMT)

(Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap in Bangkok; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner; viparat.jantraprapaweth@thomsonreuters.com) ($1 = 30.915 baht)