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Bharti Airtel Shares Gain 4.6% Despite Announcing Rs 2,866 Crore Losses in First Quarter

Shares of Bharti Airtel were trading at Rs 334.60, up 3.3%, after hitting an intra-day high of Rs 338.90. The stock has fallen around 5.5% in the last one year.

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Updated:August 2, 2019, 11:19 AM IST
Bharti Airtel Shares Gain 4.6% Despite Announcing Rs 2,866 Crore Losses in First Quarter
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Bharti Airtel Ltd shares gained as much as 4.6% on Friday, i.e. August 2, despite the company posting a consolidated net loss of Rs 2,866 crore in the first quarter ended June (Q1) against profit of Rs 107.2 crore in the previous March quarter.

At 10:36 am, shares of Bharti Airtel were trading at Rs 334.60, up 3.3%, after hitting an intra-day high of Rs 338.90. The stock has fallen around 5.5% in the last one year.

The stock gained despite a worse-than-expected quarterly loss as brokerages remained upbeat on the telecom stock. After the earnings announcement, Morgan Stanley said it was ‘equal-weight’ on the Bharti Airtel stock with a target price of Rs 360 per share. “Indian wireless revenue and adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) were largely in line with estimates,” the brokerage house said, adding that 4G subscriber addition momentum was robust with 8.4 million subscribers added in the June quarter.

Bharti Airtel on Thursday had said that revenue rose marginally to Rs 20,737.9 crore in the June quarter compared with Rs 20,602.2 crore in the previous quarter. The company's India revenue grew 2.8 percent year-on-year, while Africa revenue jumped 10.2%.

The company’s Q1 EBITDA, meanwhile, grew 24.8% to Rs 8,492.6 crore against Rs 6,806.4 crore in the March quarter. Margin expanded by a strong 700 basis points to 41% from 33%.

Another brokerage house CLSA also gave a ‘buy’ call on the stock, but cut its target price to Rs 390 per share from Rs 415 earlier. According to CLSA, Bharti Airtel’s Q1 results were a mixed bag. India mobile revenue growth was the key highlight of results, led by a 5% rise in ARPU (average revenue per user), it added. Bharti Airtel’s ARPU rose to Rs 129 in the June quarter from Rs 123 in the March quarter.

Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, India and South Asia, said: “The first quarter of the year has begun with a healthy and equitable growth across all our lines of businesses. Headline pricing remained stable, albeit at low levels. We continue to remain focused on providing value to customers through our rewards platform, Airtel Thanks. This has led to the second consecutive quarter of ARPU increase.”

“We remain obsessed about network experience. As a result, we have re-farmed spectrum from 3G networks to 4G across both the 900 as well as 2100 bands and begun the process of shutting down 3G networks in India,” he added.

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