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Bharti Airtel up after CLSA initiates coverage with ‘buy’, expects 30% upside

Bharti Airtel’s share price edged higher in the morning session on January 9 after CLSA initiated buy call on the stock. The global research firm has initiated buy call on the telecom stock and has raised target to Rs 1,040 per share, an upside of 30 percent from current market price.

At 09:35 am, Bharti Airtel was trading at Rs 812.75, up Rs 16.15, or 2.03 percent on BSE. It has touched an intraday high of Rs 813.50 and an intraday low of Rs 801.30.

The brokerage firm believes Bharti Airtel is the best play on India mobile amid hefty operating cashflows and rising Return on Capital Employed (RoCE). It forecasts Bharti Airtel to record 16 percent/22 percent India mobile revenue/EBITDA CAGR by FY25.

CLSA expects Bharti Airtel to offer 5G upside to mobile and company’s enterprise offerings. It also expects hefty cashflows of $28 billion to drive deleveraging to 1x EBITDA. “Cashflows to drive pre-tax RoCE to 18 percent by FY25CL,” the brokerage firm said.

The company’s data centre business could also be monetized at some stage, it added. The official, quoted in the report said, “Airtel is not looking at a premium pricing for its 5G services, which is being rolled out at a rapid pace, the telco doesn’t need the 700 MHz band in the future as well for its next gen services.”

Earlier, according to TRAI data, the telecom subscriber base in the country declined by 117 crore in October due to Vodafone Idea losing a large number of mobile customers during the month, as per a report of sector regulator.

“The number of telephone subscribers in India decreased from 1,171.92 million at the end of September ’22 to 1,170.45 million at the end of October ’22, thereby showing a monthly decline rate of 0.12 percent,” the TRAI said in the subscribers report for October 2022. Moneyconrol

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