MTN Group Ltd., Africa’s biggest mobile-network operator by sales, fell the most in more than a year after a return to first-half profit after a $1billion regulatory fine fell short of analyst expectations.
Headline earnings per share, which exclude one-time items, were probably 2.10 rand to 2.30 rand in the six months ended June 30, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement Thursday. Analysts at Citi expected 2.60 rand a share, they said in a note.
“The market expected a bit more, about 10 percent more in the numbers,” Peter Takaendesa, an analyst at Mergence Investment managers in Cape Town. “If you strip out the fine numbers and you just look at what they did operationally the numbers should have been a bit higher.”