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Last Updated : Jan 31, 2019 08:42 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Bharti Airtel Q3 earnings today; could post net loss on tepid revenue growth

ICICI Securities said consolidated revenues are expected to be muted at Rs 20,543 crore, up 0.6 percent QoQ (up 1.1 percent YoY) and consolidated margins are seen at 30.6 percent, up 60 bps QoQ

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Telecom operator Bharti Airtel is likely to report a loss for the quarter ended December 2018 dented by tepid operating income and revenue growth.

Overall, brokerage houses expect the loss in the range of Rs 500-900 crore for the quarter.

Emkay, Kotak Securities and Edelweiss Securities see more than Rs 900 crore loss whereas Motilal Oswal and ICICI Securities expect the company to report loss around Rs 500 crore for the quarter.

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According to brokerages, revenue growth is likely to be around 1 percent largely driven by Africa business and improvement in India wireless business while consolidated operating income is likely to increase sequentially but may fall 15-20 percent YoY.

"We expect consolidated revenue to grow 1 percent QoQ/YoY to Rs 20,600 crore, and consolidated EBITDA to grow 2 percent QoQ (down 15 percent YoY). This is mainly on the back of a decline in India wireless business getting arrested coupled with a modest uptick in Africa and enterprise business," Motilal Oswal said.

ICICI Securities said consolidated revenues are expected to be muted at Rs 20,543 crore, up 0.6 percent QoQ (up 1.1 percent YoY) and consolidated margins are seen at 30.6 percent, up 60 bps QoQ.

Brokerages expect around a percent sequential decline in Indian wireless revenue with average revenue per user (ARPU) rising QoQ. Africa business is likely to be healthy in Q3, QoQ.

"On the India wireless front, we expect a modest 1 percent QoQ and 5.6 percent YoY decline in revenues to Rs 10,200 crore," Kotak Securities said, adding revenue decline in the postpaid segment is likely to be compensated by the low-end prepaid segment on the back of the recently-launched minimum spend construct.

Edelweiss Securities also said Bharti's India cellular business revenues may decline 1 percent QoQ on account of a decline of 10 million in subscriber base as the company weed out low ARPU customers.

Consequently, Edelweiss expects ARPU to increase 1.6 percent QoQ to Rs 102.4 whereas Emkay said India wireless ARPU is expected to witness a minor uptick (+2.2 percent QoQ to Rs 103).

Emkay said minutes of usage and data usage should continue to grow, driven by increasing acceptance of bundled plans. Minutes may increase 1.4 percent QoQ, while data volume is estimated to increase 20 percent QoQ, according to the research house.

In contrast, Africa is likely to witness healthy revenue growth traction, with a growth of 3.8 percent QoQ to Rs 5,863 crore, ICICI Securities said. Emkay expects Africa revenue and EBITDA to grow 7 percent QoQ each.

Among brokerages, Kotak Securities expects the minimum growth for Africa business. "We expect 1-2 percent sequential improvement in revenues and EBITDA for Africa wireless."

Key monitorables would be

> Clarity on fund-raising plans

> Commentary on competitive intensity

> Consolidated revenue

> Consolidated EBITDA

> India wireless revenue

> India wireless EBITDA

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First Published on Jan 31, 2019 08:41 am
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