Bharti Airtel shares at highest level in nearly a decade

The Bharti Airtel stock on Wednesday surged as much as 4.8 per cent to hit a decadal high of Rs 517.45 in early trading on the BSE, despite the company reporting its smallest quarterly net profit in 19 quarters.


This was the stock’s highest trading level since December 2007.


Bharti Airtel reported a September quarter net profit of Rs 343 crore, its smallest profit in 19 quarters but above the average estimate of Rs 303 crore, according to Thomson Reuters data.


The company was approached by global investors interested in a controlling stake in mobile masts unit Bharti Infratel Ltd, Airtel said on Tuesday.


Credit Suisse analysts raise stock target price to Rs 430 from Rs 400, saying the company’s ability to "maintain margins in India mobile in a seasonally weak quarter with 5 per cent revenue decline is commendable".


CLSA upgraded the stock to 'buy' from 'underperform', and target price to Rs 637 from Rs 430, saysing consolidation in India and Africa turnaround were "reviving Bharti's long-term growth".


Seventeen of 32 brokerages rated the stock "buy" or higher, seven "hold" and eight "sell" or lower; their median target price was Rs 467.50, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon data.

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