Idea shares tremble more than Airtel as Reliance Jio strikes
Shares of India’s telecom major, Bharti Airtel plunged after it declared dismal third quarter results with profits falling 55% in the quarter ended December 31, 2016.
Airtel’s shares were down 1.94%, at Rs 310.20 per share on BSE Sensex, just one hour into the trading session on Wednesday.
However, Idea Cellular, who deferred its result declaration date beyond January 23, plummeted 2.31% at 1036 hours to Rs 73.85 per share on BSE Sensex.
Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, India & South Asia, said: “The quarter has seen turbulence due to the continued predatory pricing by a new operator."
He said, "The present termination costs at 14 paise which are well below cost has resulted in a tsunami of minutes terminating into our network. This has led to an unprecedented year on year revenue decline for the industry, pressure on margins and a serious impact on the financial health of the sector."
Airtel's consolidated revenues for the given quarter stood at Rs 23,336 crore, lower by 3% as against the same period of last year.
Idea cellular can expect much worse. LiveMint said, “…the smaller you are, the bigger the trouble.”
Industry experts like Sanjesh Jain from ICICI Securities predicted that Idea Cellular will report losses to the tune of Rs 550 crore.
The same analysts estimated Airtel’s consolidated EBITDA to grow 1.3% YoY (down 9.5% QoQ) to Rs 8,600 crore; however the company reported EBITDA at Rs 8,570.5 crore as compared to Rs 8,474.9 crore in December 2015.
Seeing as how Bharti Airtel have missed estimates by a huge margin, Idea does not have much to look forward to either.