What should investors do with Bharti Airtel post-Q3: buy, sell or hold?


The average revenue per user at Rs 166 increased by 2.4 percent from Rs 162 in the previous quarter and revenue per tower per month grew by 4.4 percent QoQ to Rs 2,43,395.

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Bharti Airtel share price touched 52-week high of Rs 623, rising 2 percent in the early trade on February 4, a day after India’s second-biggest telecom provider said it turned profitable for the quarter ended December 2020, posting a consolidated net profit of Rs 853.6 crore, driven by exceptional gains.

The company’s net loss (before exceptional items) stood at Rs 298 crore for the quarter, Airtel said as it announced its December quarter numbers.

The company had posted a loss of Rs 763.2 crore in the September quarter 2020. In fact, it reported losses in all previous four quarters, largely due to AGR provisions.

The average revenue per user (ARPU) at Rs 166 increased by 2.4 percent from Rs 162 in the previous quarter and revenue per tower per month grew by 4.4 percent QoQ to Rs 2,43,395.

Also Read: Bharti Airtel Q3 profit at Rs 853.6 crore, ARPU jumps to Rs 166

Here is what brokerages have to say about the stock and the company after the Q3 numbers:


CLSA has maintained a buy rating with the target at Rs 730 per share. The strong performance by the company with India mobile revenue up 7 percent QoQ/32 percent YoY. The 4G penetration at 54 percent of its own subscribers assures growth and gearing comfortable at 2.5x EBITDA,  CNBC-TV18 reported the brokerage as saying.


Research house Jefferies has kept hold rating and raised the target to Rs 675 per share. The addition of 14 million subscribers and 8 percent QoQ growth in Africa operations were a positive suprise. The moderation in Jio’s subscribers will likely delay tariff hikes. It raised revenue & EBITDA forecasts by 7-9 percent to factor higher subscribers, CNBC-TV18 reported the brokerage as saying.

Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs has kept a buy call and raised the target to Rs 675 from Rs 645 per share. It raised EBITDA estimates by up to 3 percent. The company has the highest earnings visibility within the coverage. It forecast 21 percent/36 percent revenue/EBITDA growth over CY20-23 for India wireless business, CNBC-TV18 reported the research house as saying .


UBS has kept buy call with a target at Rs 665 per share. The strong momentum witnessed in Q2 continued into Q3. It is well placed in the sector, given its investment head-start, strong brand & customer proposition, CNBC-TV18 reported.


Broking house maintained outperform call with a target at Rs 690 per share. The subscriber & ARPU improvements continue, while core business also showed a strong improvement. The subscriber net addition, ARPU uplift resulting in EBITDA / EBIT improvement, CNBC-TV18 reported the brokerage as saying.

Dolat Capital

Bharti remains best-positioned to capitalise on the potential upside from the weakness of VIL and/or tariff hikes. The brokerage reiterated its positive view. It has a buy call on the stock with the target price of Rs 663  at 10x/7x India Wireless/Africa.

The key things to watch out for are potential outlook on ARPU/revenue growth drivers as well as tariff increase and management commentary on spectrum auctions, AGR petitions etc.

Motilal Oswal

Consolidated revenue/EBITDA jumped 6%/9% QoQ (5% beat); India Mobile EBITDA grew 12% QoQ despite no price hike. Despite no tariff hikes over the last three quarters, ARPU is up 8% and India Wireless EBITDA is up 30% (from 4QFY20 levels).

Both net debt and interest cost rose due to the deconsolidation of Bharti Infratel – net debt was up by Rs 45b to Rs 1,145b and interest cost increased 5%, taking the net debt to EBITDA to >3x. Maintain buy.

Rohan Patil, Technical Analyst at Bonanza Portfolio

This stock has broken out from the consolidation it held for the last two weeks and witnessed a bullish flag pattern breakout on the daily chart. Since mid-October, this counter has been trading in a higher bottom higher top formation on a daily scale. The stock is trading above its upward slanting trendline. Indicators and oscillators like RSI & MACD have been showing strength on the daily and weekly charts.

The stock is above its 21 and 50-day exponential moving averages and based on the price action analysis on the short and medium timeframes, we can say that the medium-term trend of the stock remains bullish. Target price at Rs 640 and a stoploss at Rs 590 for an upside of 5 percent.

At 0918 hours, Bharti Airtel was quoting at Rs 621.10, up Rs 12.25, or 2.01 percent, on the BSE.


The share touched its 52-week high of Rs 622.40 on February 3, 2021 and 52-week low of Rs 381.05 on March 19, 2020. It is trading 1.11 percent below its 52-week high and 61.53 percent above its 52-week low.

Disclosure: Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd.