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Why Reliance buyers weren’t impressed regardless of Mukesh Ambani’s deal-making spree

File photo of Mukesh Ambani | ANI Photo

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Singapore: Mukesh Ambani’s slew of announcements at the annual shareholder meeting of his flagship company Reliance Industries Ltd. failed to meet investor expectations, that are running high, according to analysts’ reviews.

Among positives, the chairman of Reliance named Alphabet Inc.’s Google as the latest investor in Jio Platforms, promised a rollout of its own 5G solutions, and said he plans to induct investors into the Indian firm’s retail and oil to chemicals businesses. Still, a delay in a $15 billion deal with Saudi Aramco and a dampening in the optimism that prevailed before the AGM saw the stock price fall Wednesday. The shares have more than doubled from a low in March.

Here is what the analysts are saying about India’s most valued company:

Buy on dips

“The stock price of Reliance witnessed a decline toward the end of the AGM since most of the news was already priced in and there were not many surprises,” said Nirali Shah, an analyst at Samco Securities. “Hence, it will see some correction to levels of 1,750 rupees in the short term but the long-term growth trend is still intact for this stock.” The shares closed at 1,844 rupees yesterday.

Deepak Jasani, head of retail research at HDFC Securities Ltd., said gains in the company’s shares this month were in anticipation of announcements at the AGM, and most were in line with investor expectations. The stock added 12% this month through Tuesday.

“We remain positive on the company’s long-term growth plans and would advise investors to hold the stock for healthy returns,” analysts at Religare Broking Ltd. wrote in a note. “Fresh investment in RIL should be made only on dips.”

Also read: Jio developing homegrown 5G solution, says Mukhesh Ambani

5G rollout

An early 5G launch from Reliance Industries “can potentially trigger another capex cycle, again straining telcos balance sheets,” Edelweiss Financial Services Ltd.’s analysts including Pranav Kshatriya wrote in note. “We expect large scale commercial 5G launches by operators by 2024–25, and advancement to next 1–2 years is likely to entail significant capex.”

“While Reliance JIO’s partnerships with Facebook and Google have created a stir, these are limited to select use cases; we would wait and see how it pans out.”

Digital roadmap

The initiatives announced at the AGM alongside the strategic partnerships have laid out a “powerful” long-term digital roadmap for Reliance, Aditya Suresh, head of India research at Macquarie Capital Ltd. wrote in a note. “The ability of RIL/JIO to morph to a tech-focused company and solve for India’s trillion dollar digital opportunity has substantially increased,” he said, increasing the firm’s target price by 17% to 1,400 rupees.

However, Macquarie is maintaining an underperform rating on valuations. “We still see no meaningful sustainable organic FCF generation — even without a potential 5G capex cycle — and our earnings for FY22-23 EPS are 15%-20% below consensus,” he said.- Bloomberg

Also read: After raising $20 billion for Jio, Mukesh Ambani is seeking money for Reliance Retail


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