Telcos absent from auction seen as for sale

Analysts see telcos that failed to bid in the auction of PCS leftovers as ?more for sale than ever?. In particular, they refer to Tele Centro Oeste Celular (TCO) and Telemig Celular, arguing that these incumbents haven?t shown any sign of wanting to expand for some time. Investors must take the same view, judging by the two telcos? recent stock market performance. TCO?s voting stock (ON) is up 5.77% in the year. Its preferred stock (PN) was lagging behind but has now outvied the voting stock with a gain of 12.29% in seven days. TCO?s third-quarter earnings report impressed analysts, with net income of 68.9 million Brazilian Reals in the period and 230.1m BRL in the year-to-date. It had cash-in-hand of almost 200m BRL at the end of September. Interest in Telemig Celular has varied, with the operator?s stock outperforming that of the holding company: ON is up 2.38% and PN 8.99% in the year. It?s worth noting, however, that one of Telemig Celular?s controlling shareholders, Opportunity, is a bidder in the PCS auction via Brasil Telecom, and there could be a joint strategy.

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