China Mobile 2013 profit falls 5.9 pct, misses estimates

BEIJING, March 20 Thu Mar 20, 2014 12:33am EDT

BEIJING, March 20 (Reuters) - China Mobile Ltd, the world's largest carrier by subscribers, missed estimates for 2013 with its first annual profit drop in 14 years as messaging services like Tencent Holdings' WeChat continued to replace formerly lucrative SMS usage.

The company's net profit fell 5.9 percent to 121.8 billion yuan ($19.66 billion) last year, missing analyst estimates of 125 billion yuan, according to a Thomson Reuters Starmine survey of 31 analysts. Revenue for 2013 rose 8.3 percent to 630.2 billion yuan.

China Mobile shares were down 1.9 percent on Thursday morning, versus a 1.1 percent drop in the Hang Seng Index .

($1 = 6.1965 Chinese Yuan) (Reporting by Paul Carsten; Editing by Matt Driskill)

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