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Analysts remain bullish on Bharti Airtel after Q3 results

Most analysts retained their bullish investment recommendations for Bharti Airtel Ltd., citing, among others, an increase in average revenue per user, better Africa unit operations and market share gains.

The Sunil Mittal-owned telecom operator posted a Rs 853.6-crore profit in the quarter ended December, aided by a one-time gain stemming from the merger of its tower arm and Indus Towers Ltd. Adjusting for the exceptional item, however, the company reported a loss of Rs 846 crore in the third quarter.

Its revenue rose to the highest ever at Rs 26,518 crore. The carrier added 1.29 crore 4G customers in the reported quarter and the highest ever 2.15 lakh users in the home business. Its average revenue per user—the amount an operator earns per subscriber per month—rose 2.5% quarter-on-quarter to Rs 166.

Bharti Airtel’s board has also approved a fundraise of up to Rs 7,500 crore through non-convertible debt securities in one or more tranches.

The stock gained as much as 3.8% as of 1:20 p.m. on Monday at Rs 603.6 apiece. Of the 32 analysts tracking the company, 30 have a ‘buy’ rating and two suggest a ‘hold’. The average of Bloomberg consensus 12-month price target implies an upside of 21%. Bloomberg

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