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01 Jul 2022, Edition - 2544, Friday

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RIL becomes first Indian firm to hit Rs 10 lakh cr market cap, share price hits all-time high



Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) on Thursday became the first Indian company to hit the market capitalisation of Rs 10 lakh crore. RIL share price rose to a fresh all-time high of Rs 1,581.25 against the previous close of Rs 1569.75 on BSE.

The Mukesh Ambani-led firm touched market cap of Rs 10,01,270 crore in early trade today. Reliance Industries stock opened 0.17% higher at Rs 1,572 on BSE today. Share price of Reliance Industries has gained 1.36% in last two days. RIL stock has risen 37.63% during the last one year and gained 40.73% since the beginning of this year. In the last one month, the stock has gained 10% on BSE.

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On Wednesday, the oil-to-telecom conglomerate’s market capitalisation (m-cap) stood at Rs 9,91,381.07 crore. On Tuesday, market cap of Reliance Industries zoomed to Rs 9,99,045 crore ($139 billion) but fell to Rs 9,88,179.79 crore (nearly $138 billion) by the closing bell.

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On November 19, RIL became the first Indian firm to cross the Rs 9.5 lakh crore market capitalisation mark. The rise in RIL share price came after Vodafone India and Bharti Airtel announced a tariff hike from December. The tariff hike was seen benefiting RIL’s telecom arm Reliance Jio. A day later, Reliance Jio said it would raise tariff in coming weeks.

On October 18, Mumbai-headquartered Reliance Industries became the first Indian company to cross the Rs 9 lakh crore market-cap mark.

The company has seen a series of upgrades after second quarter earnings of the firm were announced on October 18, 2019. This has pushed the stock 13.25% or 185.1 points higher since then.

Also read: Mukesh Ambani first Indian with wealth of Rs 5 lakh crore

Reliance Industries reported a record 18.34% rise in net profit to Rs 11,262 crore for the quarter ended September 30, 2019 due to recovery in refining margins compared to consolidated net profit of Rs 9,516 crore in the same quarter last year. RIL reported gross refining margins at $9.4 per barrel, the best in four quarters.

Analysts had estimated RIL’s GRM to come in at $9.5-$10.5 per barrel in Q2. Gross refining margin is the difference between the total value of petroleum products coming out of an oil refinery (output) and the price of the raw material, (input) which is crude oil. Q2 earnings came above Bloomberg consensus estimates according to which the conglomerate was likely to report a 17 per cent rise in its consolidated net profit to Rs 11,158 crore.

The conglomerate logged a 4.8 per cent rise in revenue to Rs 163,854 crore in Q2 against Rs 1,56,291 crore in the corresponding quarter, led by strong growth in retail and digital services businesses. Profit before tax (PBT) rose 15.5 per cent to Rs 15,055 crore in Q2 compared with Rs 13,198 crore in corresponding period of previous fiscal.

On October 16, before Q2 earnings were announced, Brokerage Bank of America Merrill Lynch pegged market cap of RIL at $200 billion in 24 months. Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries is likely to become first Indian company to reach $200 billion market cap in 24 months backed by its new commerce venture and fixed broadband business, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofA-ML) said in a report.

The stock is likely to receive additional boost with several initiatives Reliance Industries has undertaken. New commerce initiative of empowering Kiranas in unorganised retail market by offering MPoS (mobile point-of-sale), entry into SME enterprise space with Microsoft, Jio’s fiber broadband business and digital initiatives such as advertising could push the market capitalisation of the conglomerate to $200 billion, the brokerage said.

“We think the market is giving little credit to these initiatives given limited visibility,” BofA-ML said. “We expect near-term momentum to be strong.”

After the firm announced its Q2 earnings, brokerages became bullish on the RIL stock and upgraded their target price.

On November 22, global banking major HSBC cited strong performance of retail and telecom business to raise the target price of the stock.

HSBC said,” Operating trends for Jio and organised retail remain strong and are set to drive near-term upside potential. Jio’s plans to raise tariffs offer scope for rapid improvement in profitability amid declining capital expenditure which is a positive for RIL.” HSBC retained buy call for Reliance Industries share and raised its target price to Rs 1,700 from Rs 1,565.

On November 20, Credit Suisse raised its target price to Rs 1,400 from Rs 1,210 citing likely tariff increase by Reliance Jio which could bring annual cash flow of $1.5 billion. This cash flow will help the firm achieve zero net debt target by FY21, the brokerage said.

It raised its FY20/21/22 earnings per share estimates by 15%, 12% and 20%, respectively.

On November 5, UBS reiterated its ‘Buy’ call for RIL stock and increased the price target from Rs 1,500 to Rs 1,750. UBS said plans to re-organise its investment in Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (RJIL) to make Jio a net debt-free company by the end of the current fiscal could unlock significant value for the conglomerate.

In October end, Reliance Industries said it would set up a new unit to bring all its digital initiatives and apps under a single entity, and infuse Rs 1.08 lakh crore equity into this new unit.

The new structure will also create the largest digital services platform company in India. The new entity will continue to work on technologies in areas such as healthcare and education, while also looking at next-gen competencies such as artificial intelligence, Blockchain, virtual and augmented reality, among others.

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