ZTE's 2009 net profit spikes 48% on Chinese 3G growth

Chinese infrastructure and handset vendor ZTE said its 2009 net profit jumped 48 percent largely due to domestic 3G infrastructure spending. However, analysts are uncertain about the company's growth prospects for this year as 3G spending slows.

ZTE's net profit for 2009 came in at $360.4 million, up from $243.2 million in 2008. ZTE's 2009 revenue rose 36 percent to $8.83 billion, from $6.48 billion a year ago.

The company has managed to join its larger Chinese counterpart Huawei in putting pressure on larger Western infrastructure vendors. The firm also is looking to expand its U.S. presence in the smartphone market this year.

Analysts are divided over how ZTE will fare this year as 3G spending by China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom slows. "Last year, China had a burst of spending, so you had an exceptionally strong year," Daiwa analyst Joseph Ho told Reuters. "This year we won't see a significant slowdown, but an expected slowdown. ... We're comfortable with continued growth this year."

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this Reuters article

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