Bharti Climbs Most in Three Years After Quarterly Results

Bharti Airtel Ltd., India’s largest mobile-phone operator, jumped the most in three years in Mumbai trading after user revenue increased in the first quarter.

Bharti shares rose 7.3 percent, the most since July 2010, to 344.50 rupees at the close in Mumbai trading. The stock was the best performer on the 30-company benchmark S&P BSE Sensex Index, which was little changed.

Average revenue per user from mobile services in India, its biggest market, rose 8.7 percent to 200 rupees ($3.3) a month during the quarter, while total data traffic in the nation and operating free cash flow both doubled, Bharti said today. The results “demonstrate the potential for growth” and reflect stability in operations, Billionaire Chairman Sunil Mittal said in a statement.

“Bharti’s results looked very strong in India” because of the higher user revenue and usage, said Ankur Rudra, a Mumbai-based analyst with Ambit Capital Pvt, who recommends buying the stock. “Bharti will continue to benefit from the increase and growth in data consumption.”

Net income fell 9.6 percent to 6.89 billion rupees ($114 million) in the quarter, the smallest drop since the three months ended March 2010, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The earnings missed the 7.5 billion-rupee median of 33 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Net sales rose to 202.6 billion rupees in the three months ended June from 185.6 billion rupees, lagging behind the 212.7 billion-rupee median of 26 analyst estimates. Voice revenue per minute in India rose 0.7 percent during the period, according to the statement.

Finance costs, including currency exchange fluctuations, increased to 11.7 billion rupees in the quarter, from 7.4 billion rupees in the year-earlier period, Bharti said. The Indian rupee declined 6 percent against the dollar in the 12 months through June, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, raising costs and debt denominated in foreign currencies.

The company’s consolidated net debt declined by $908 million to $9.78 billion at the end of June.

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