Vodafone up 4.24pc after results beat expectations of analysts
VODAFONE shares surged 4.24pc yesterday in the biggest rally for six months after the company announced better-than-expected results for the last three months of 2011.
Vodafone, which is listed on the London stock exchange, is Europe's and Ireland's largest mobile phone company, with 2.5 million Irish customers. Most of these are mobile phone users.
Vodafone shares are the most commonly owned shares in Ireland because shareholders in Eircom were paid in Vodafone shares when the UK company bought Eircom's then mobile unit, Eircell, in a €4.5bn deal back in 2001.
Yesterday, its shares closed up 4.5pc at 172p each. Share prices had dropped 7.8pc from the start of the year before yesterday's recovery.
The stock rose after the company announced like-for-like revenue up 2.3pc in the last quarter 2011, beating analysts' estimated growth of 1.7pc.
The increase was driven by growth in Germany and the rapid increase in data sales as smartphones, such as the iPhone, become increasingly common.
In Germany, retail consumers and companies are boosting spending as unemployment there hits a two-decade low.
"We did particularly well, I think, in Germany, but also in general," said the company's CEO, Vittorio Colao.
In Ireland, 38pc of Vodafone's mobile customers now use a smart phone, following a 60pc increase in the number of such devices on the Irish network over the past year.
Globally, Vodafone saw sales up 19pc in India and 2.7pc in Germany in the fourth quarter, but they were down 8pc in Spain and almost 2pc in Italy.