Sunday, February 1, 2009

Telecom Sector.

Q: Any thoughts on stocks like Idea in telecom or even Bharti. What would you do with them now?

A: We do not like the telecom space too much now. While at this point of time there is still growth but obviously (1) the base effect is coming into play as we go long over the next few quarters, so the growth rates are going to come down (2) there is going to be huge amount of competition from the new players like Reliance Communications and the other new license holders (3) the market itself could start getting saturated after maybe a few more months because the addressable space is only about Rs 70 crore and we have already got Rs 35-38 crore of subscriptions, so Rs 1 crore per month if it continues then in the next 10-12 months you could see slowdown there definitely happening and (4) once 3G comes you will definitely see valuation coming down because 3G is a space where lot of expenditure is going to happen. Capital expenditure means these companies will not become cash flow positive for quite some time to come. There will be operational losses for the first couple of years, so valuations will go down.

So we do not like this space too much but in something like a Bharti, valuations have already taken into account so it’s going to become sort of a defensive stock from here onwards. But companies like Idea, we do not like too much because we think that being number three-four players they are going to find it much more difficult going forward.

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