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Ericsson raises 2020 sales target on 5G demand; shares rise

Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (publ) raised its sales target for 2020 amid stronger demand in the 5G market, though it recorded a net loss in the third quarter of 2019.

The Swedish telecommunications company reported a net loss of 6.9 billion Swedish kronor, or a loss of 1.89 kronor per share, in the three months to September, compared with net income of 2.7 billion kronor, or 83 öre per share, in the year-ago period.

The company logged operating loss for the quarter of 4.2 billion kronor, compared with operating income of 3.2 billion kronor a year ago. Excluding restructuring charges and items affecting comparability, operating income rose to 6.5 billion kronor from 3.8 billion kronor.

Ericsson booked a provision of 11.5 billion kronor in the third quarter in relation to corruption investigations by U.S. authorities.

Net sales jumped 6% year over year to 57.1 billion kronor from 53.8 billion kronor. The S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus revenue estimate for the third quarter was 56.60 billion kronor.

The company raised its sales target for 2020 to a range of 230 billion kronor to 240 billion kronor, from a prior estimate of 210 billion kronor to 220 billion kronor, citing currency movements and a stronger 5G market.

Ericsson maintained its operating margin target of more than 10%.

Shares of Ericsson were up more than 7% as of 10:50 a.m. ET.

As of Oct. 16, US$1 was equivalent to 9.79 Swedish kronor.