Telecom stocks were in focus today after price hike in select post-paid plans by Vodafone Idea. Shares of Bharti Airtel today surged 3.5% to ?479 while Vodafone Idea rose 2% to ?9.98. Reliance Industries also advanced 1.2% to ?1952.
In October, Bharti Airtel Ltd chief executive Gopal Vittal had said that prices of data and voice services need to be increased as the current levels of tariff are unsustainable for the industry. Vittal, who was addressing analysts at a post-earnings conference call, did not give a timeline on the tariff hike but expressed confidence about a price rise in the future.
Bharti Airtel had clocked its highest consolidated quarterly revenue of ?25,785 crore during the three months ended September, up 22% from a year ago. It, however, posted a consolidated net loss of ?763 crore due to higher expenses and net finance cost.
Bharti Airtel is among the top picks of Religare Broking with a target price of ?709. Bharti Airtel shares had hit a 52-week high of ?611 in May this year.
“The Indian telecom industry has witnessed high competitive intensity ever since the launch of Jio. However, despite these pressures, Bharti Airtel has managed to gradually increase its subscriber base. Going forward, we believe that the worse of pricing war is behind us and the industry would collectively look to increase tariff at regular intervals,” the brokerage said in a November 10 note.
“Moreover, the long-term growth story remains promising for the industry-led by increase in digital penetration which has further accelerated post the pandemic and consistent rise in smartphone users,” it added.
“The positive industry growth trends bode well for Bharti as it enjoys a strong market share in the Indian mobile services market. Its industry-leading ARPUs and consistent rise in 4G subscribers would aid revenue growth for the company. Moreover, to enhance its digital offerings, the company has built digital assets (Airtel Thanks, Wynk and Xstream) and has partnered with several OTT, music and Edtech platforms,” Religare Broking said.
News Source: livemint