We reiterate a ‘buy’ rating on Idea Cellular (Idea) and raise our target price to R185 per share (earlier R170). A strong Q1FY15 performance drives around 3-3.5% increase in ebitda and 7-7.5% increase in our EPS estimates for FY15/16e. We now forecast an ebitda of R10,200 crore for FY15e and R11,900 crore for FY16e. Our EPS estimates go up to R7.8 and R8.9 for FY15e and FY16e, respectively.
We continue to see Idea as a structural player on improving India wireless industry dynamics, Jio-related risks notwithstanding.
As we have expressed in some of our earlier notes, worries around competition and regulations are two constants as far as the Indian telecom sector is concerned.
We emphasise that we are not dismissing either of the risks discussed above. What we do believe is that the risk of sustained sector-killing irrationality from R-Jio and/or another material negative surprise on the spectrum auctions front is low. What we also believe is that there is an upside risk (of secular consolidation of market share in favor of incumbents) that the Street appears to be ignoring. On R-Jio, we would caution against – (1) getting into an overpessimistic zone, and (2) making virtues out of R-Jio’s necessities – be it laying fiber or putting up cell sites or working on the handset ecosystem.
Kotak Institutional Equities