MBT beats bearish forecasts

Russia’s biggest cell phone network has suffered from the combination of rising interest charges and, yes, exchange rates, but still did better than analysts expected.

Mobile Telesys (MBT, quote) reported that its third-quarter profits fell only 5.7% to $475 million. Consensus was for a steeper decline to $462 million, so shares are getting a boost.

Foreign exchange gains dropped to $19 million while interest charges climbed to $190 million. Otherwise, the results were largely good, with revenue increasing 10.8% on an annualized basis.

The question, as always, is where the stock goes from here. The earnings pushed MBT above its 200-day moving average, giving it support at around $21.20. However, the next hurdle — the 50-day average — remains above us at roughly $21.51.

Breaking through that line would give traders notice that MBT is on a bona fide upward trend. In the meantime, if this is all the earnings catalyst can give us, this stock may have room left to drift.

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