By 13:00, shares in the group slipped 1.15%, or 61 cents, to R52.39 after it said Friday (April 13, 2012) that its headline earnings and adjusted headline earnings per share, for the financial year ended February 2012, are expected to be between 24% and 30% lower than previously.
The All Share Index traded marginally in the black, reaching 33,741.
The group said these reductions are primarily due to continued poor results in Altech’s East and West African operations. “Altech Management is investigating remedial measures,” it said.
In 2011, the group reported revenue R9.7 of billion and an operating profit of R787 million. Adjusted HEPS stood at 529 cents per share.
In January, Altech announced the resignation of Jeffrey Hedberg as COO of the group, following mere months in the post. Hedberg had been appointed by Altech CEO, Craig Venter, to head up the troubled East Africa operations.
The other operations within Altech performed to expectations, it said.
Allied Electronics Corporation (Altron, ATN/ATNP), the holding company of Altech however, gained 1.31%, or 32 cents, to R24.83 on the JSE, despite warnings on Friday that it expects headline earnings per share and diluted adjusted headline earnings per share, for the year ended February 2012, to be between 13% to 19% lower than previously.
Altron blamed Altech’s East and West African operations for the expected earnings decline. It added that diluted adjusted HEPS included an adjustment for the amortisation of intangibles arising from acquisitions, as well as various once off non-operational items.
In 2011, the group reported revenue of R22.8 billion; earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was at R2.1 billion, and headline earnings per share increased 15% to 228 cents per share.
There was little respite for MTN (MTN), as Nigeria’s militant group MEND threatened to attack South Africa’s investments over the weekend – including the mobile operator’s telecoms infrastructure in the Niger Delta – because of the terror trial of its leader in Johannesburg.
“Our decision to attack South African investments in the Niger Delta is directly related to the conduct of President (Jacob) Zuma regarding the continued incarceration in South Africa of Henry Okah,” the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta said in an e-mail statement.
Concerning attacks on MTN related infrastructure, MEND said it will issue a set of guidelines to MTN employees, customers and owners of properties accommodating MTN-related communication equipment.
“These guidelines are intended to minimise civilian casualties and forestall the unnecessary destruction of privately-owned properties accommodating MTN equipment,” it added.
MTN is also facing a potential $4.2 billion lawsuit in a US court, amid allegations that it bribed its way into securing an Iranian licence and that it committed human rights abuses.
In turn, group president and CEO of MTN Group, Sifiso Dabengwa, accused Turkcell of making “sensationalist allegations” against the group in obtaining a licence in Iran, and dismissed the charges of human rights abuses as “both false and offensive”.
By 14:00 local time, shares in MTN slipped 75 cents lower to R129.84, having initially lost a percent point at the opening bell. Rival firm, Vodacom meanwhile, was down at R107.00 after slipping 25 cents – while under-fire Telkom (TKG) shipped 14 cents to R23.65.