Local brokerage TA Securities raised its target price for Axiata Group Berhad by 17.1 percent to 7.41 ringgit per share after the mobile telephone operator reported strong earnings for the financial year 2012 late on Thursday.
"We are positive on Axiata's growth prospects," the brokerage said in a research note on Friday, citing the company's rising subscriber base and convincing turnaround at regional subsidiaries.
It also cited the company's revenue and EBITDA growth outlook of 7.6 percent and 0.2 percent respectively in FY13.
Axiata, Asia's third-largest mobile services group outside Japan and China by subscribers, said its fourth-quarter net profit rose 4.9 percent to 571.1 million, helped by higher earnings at all of its operating companies.
Two analysts on average expected a profit of 419.23 million ringgit, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
At 1038 am (0238 GMT) Axiata was up 1.42 percent at 6.42 ringgit per share while the benchmark composite index was up 0.03 percent at 1614.70 points.
(Reporting by Siva Sithraputhran; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi; Siva.Sithraputhran@thomsonreuters.com; +603 23338019; Reuters Messaging: Siva.email@example.com)
*************************************************************** 0955 STOCKS NEWS MALAYSIA-Kenanga raises Maybank's target price
Kenanga Research raised its target price on the country's largest bank Malayan Banking Berhad to 10.90 ringgit per share from 10.40 ringgit on the back of strong earnings in 2012.
Maybank, Southeast Asia's fourth-biggest lender by assets, on Thursday reported its October-December quarterly profit rose 16 percent to 1.46 billion ringgit, bolstered by higher net loans, advances and fee income.
But Maybank's unexciting loan growth of only 12.9 percent y/y in the fourth quarter was due to slower loan demand in Singapore and tighter markets in the region, Kenanga said in a note on Friday.
Kenanga added that the bank's issuance of 415 million new shares in October last year, which raised 3.7 billion ringgit, signalled that Malaysian banks are feeling the regulatory pressure to boost their capitals as they expand regionally.
"We think Maybank's equity issuance was a positive move that removes a dilution overhang that still remained in place for its government-linked company peers, CIMB Group," Kenanga said.
Kenanga kept its 'outperform' rating on the stock.
Maybank's shares rose 0.67 percent. The Malaysian benchmark stock index crept up 0.04 percent.
0945 (0145 GMT) (Reporting by Anuradha Raghu;Editing by Gopakumar Warrier; firstname.lastname@example.org; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com)