Russian wireless service provider Vimpel Communications (NYSE: VIP) will be reporting fourth-quarter and full-year 2007 earnings on Wednesday. Listen in for what's in store.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or waffle? Wall Street has 24 analysts giving opinions on VimpelCom. Twelve give the stock a buy, while eight say hold, and four say sell. In our Motley Fool CAPS investor database, 987 of our 86,000 users have rated the stock, giving it a five-star rating overall.
  • Revenue: The average revenue estimate for the company is $2 billion this quarter.
  • Earnings: Earnings, on average, are expected to fall around $0.40 per share.

What management says:
Changes are afoot at VimpelCom, with the company recently closing the purchase of fixed-line communication services provider Golden Telecom. Much like U.S. peers such as AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), the combination is a golden opportunity to increase growth through the offer of packaged services that include fixed-line voice, broadband, and mobile communications.

CEO Alexander Izosimov noted that the purchase "truly transforms VimpelCom into a leading integrated telecom operator in Russia and the CIS with established positions in rapidly growing broadband, data and mobile markets." The combination should also go a long way toward fending off fierce competition from main Russian rival Mobile TeleSystems (NYSE: MBT).

What management does:
VimpelCom has seen erratic churn in many of its markets -- including Russia, which dominates its subscriber base -- as it adjusts policies for deactivating inactive accounts. In the future, the company will focus all metrics on its active subscriber base, which should give a clearer picture of operational performance.

Metric

06/06

09/06

12/06

3/07

6/07

9/07

Registered subscriber base (millions)

50.8

52.4

55.1

56.8

59.0

61.0

Average revenue per user (ARPU)*

$7.40

$8.60

$8.90

$8.90

$9.90

$11.00

Source: Company filings.
*ARPU calculated from registered subscriber base in Russian market only.

One Fool says:
While investors have seen just how bad a merger can be with Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) recently, I don't expect many issues with VimpelCom's buy of Golden Telecom. While the two businesses will be integrated somewhat, the customer bases will be leveraged off one another, not combined as in the case of Sprint Nextel. Investors won't see any benefits from the merger until next quarter at the earliest, so for now continued momentum in key markets and metrics is the most important angle for investors to keep their eyes on.

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Fool contributor Dave Mock figures selling seashells by the seashore is a losing proposition. He owns no shares of companies mentioned here. Dave is the author of The Qualcomm Equation. The Fool's disclosure policy is designed to hold up well beyond 457 degrees Fahrenheit.