ZTE expects net to surge 43-56% on 3G

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Thanks to a boom in 3G-related investments in China, ZTE Corp expects its net profit in 2009 to surge 43 to 56 percent, although slightly lower than analysts' expectations, the country's biggest telecommunication equipment maker said Monday.

Net profit for the firm is likely to come in at 2.37 billion yuan (US$348.5 million) to 2.59 billion yuan, up from 1.66 billion yuan in 2008, according to a statement it filed to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

"In 2009, benefiting from the large-scale construction of 3G networks in China, the company achieved a higher growth in business revenue while it improved its domestic market share," ZTE said in the statement.

In 2009, investments in 3G, or third generation, surpassed 160 billion yuan, said the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, without providing comparative data.

ZTE's share price dropped 3.06 percent to close at 42.10 yuan compared with a fall of 1.22 percent in Shenzhen's key stock index yesterday.

ZTE's expected 2009 net profit was about 5 percent lower than the estimates by BoCom International which still rated ZTE shares as a "Buy" with a target price of 52 yuan, 25 percent higher than the current price.

ZTE had taken a more than 35 percent share of the domestic 3G network orders in 2009, it said in a statement to Shanghai Daily.

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