STOCKS NEWS THAILAND-AIS rises on strong outlook and Q3 results

Wed Nov 7, 2012 11:38pm EST

Shares in Advanced Info Service Pcl (AIS) rebounded to trade 0.5 percent higher after Thailand's top mobile phone operator reported strong third-quarter earnings and analysts gave a thumbs-up to the company's earnings outlook.

AIS shares were at 189 baht after falling at one point to 186 baht. The tech subindex was down 0.04 percent and the broader SET index was 0.65 percent lower.

"Operationally, trends were in line with our expectations, which are well ahead of guidance... We still believe that AIS should be able to beat guidance again this year," broker Nomura said in a report dated Nov. 7.

Nomura reiterated a 'buy' rating on the stock. AIS is trading at 15 times 2012 forecast P/E, below the 16-17 times multiple for domestic wireless peers, with a dividend yield of 6.5 percent versus 4 percent of regional peers.

Fifteen of 26 analysts tracking the company rated the stock a 'buy' or 'strong buy', eight put a 'hold' and three had a 'sell' or 'strong sell', according to Thomson Reuters StarMine.

AIS shares have fallen 11.7 percent from their recent high of 214 baht on Oct. 18, versus SET index's 1.6 percent loss, due to risks of a delay in 3G/2.1GHz licensing pending investigation into the recent auction.

1120 (0420 GMT)

For the company earnings report, click

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

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10:41 STOCKS NEWS THAILAND-Citi raises PTT price target

Citi Research raised its price target on PTT Pcl PTT.BK to 393 baht from 382 baht, saying it rolled over the price target to 2013 and expected strong natural gas business to boost earnings of Thailand's biggest energy firm next year.

PTT shares were down 0.6 percent at 317 baht while the benchmark SET index .SETI edged down 1 percent. The stock has lost 0.3 percent so far in 2012 versus a 2.4 percent gain of the energy subindex .SETEN and a 26 percent gain of the SET index.

PTT's underperformance has been due to the government's policy to temporarily halt domestic gas price hikes, as well as one-off charges related to the Egypt gas pipeline investment and weak associate earnings in the first half, it said in a report dated Nov.7.

Citi expected PTT to achieve a 15 percent growth in earnings per share in 2013, driven by higher gas sales volume, an improving operating performance of the petrochemicals industry and resilient refining margins.

"FY13E EPS growth of 15 percent, led by natural gas, is the second-highest in the Asia integrated oil space. Favourable change in regulation on domestic CNG and LPG prices by 2015 would be an upside risk," it said.

Citi maintained a 'buy' rating on the stock.

1019 (0319 GMT)

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

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