While many investors are now chasing hot wireless growth stories captured in stocks like China Mobile
While these gains don't pack the shock value of China Mobile's dramatic double in the past year, Vodafone is more diversified, holding equity interests in operators in 25 countries across five continents. This diversity mutes rapid growth, but it offers investors less risk than regionally concentrated providers such as China Mobile or Russia's VimpelCom
The improvements Vodafone has made in its business were demonstrated in its half-yearly financial report released Tuesday, where it posted 9% revenue growth as it added a proportionate 20.5 million mobile customers. Much of Vodafone's growth was driven by emerging markets and Verizon Wireless, the U.S. operation that it shares with Verizon Communications
While widespread trends in adopting new wireless data services are helping Vodafone grow the top line, efficiency at the company is cutting costs and improving operating profits. CEO Arun Sarin noted that the company is executing well -- well enough to increase financial guidance for the second half of Vodafone's fiscal year.
While some gave Vodafone raspberries for passing on the Apple
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Fool contributor Dave Mock is ignored when he's sleeping and often when he's awake, too. He owns no shares of companies mentioned here. Dave is the author of The Qualcomm Equation. China Mobile is a Global Gains recommendation. The Fool's disclosure policy is never asleep at the wheel.