Telecom operator Bharti Airtel on Monday reported its financial results for the July-September quarter, with revenue and margin beating expectations, though profit after tax came in lower than forecast, likely due to continued sequential growth in finance costs.
Bharti Airtel, India’s second-largest telecom company, reported a 22 percent rise in its total revenue in the second quarter. Airtel attributed this year-on-year revenue growth to “strong and consistent portfolio performance and Rs 500 crore”. customers all over the world”.
Most brokerages attribute India’s average revenue per user (ARPU) as a growth driver and expect the growth rate and margin improvement to continue. But investors on Dalal Street remained cautious as the stock fell more than two percent on the day on Tuesday.
Bharti Airtel’s ARPU (a key metric for telcos) rose to Rs 190, making the telco the market leader as its peer Reliance Jio posted an ARPU of Rs 177.2 between July and September. He said the growth was driven by a focus on quality customers, a feature phone-to-smartphone upgrade and data monetization. The company, which is rolling out 5G services, also expressed its confidence in providing the “best experience in India”.
JPMorgan gave the telco an “overweight” rating, saying ARPU surprised due to higher premiums and returning data-driven growth.
Goldman Sachs issued a “buy” call, noting that the results were in line with expectations and that the growth rate and margin improvement will continue.
CLSA also has a ‘buy’ call on Bharti Airtel as it sees the company posting 22% growth in FY2024-25. India Mobile EBITDA CAGR.
Morgan Stanley maintains an “overweight” rating on the company as its India business is growing strongly across segments.
Brokerage firm Citi raised its price target on Airtel shares to Rs 955 from Rs 860 previously, calling it a “buy”. It also attributes the revenue increase primarily to better-than-expected performance in India’s mobile business.