Men make phone calls as they sit near Bharti Airtel billboards in Kolkata. Photo: Reuters

Shares of India’s leading mobile phone services provider Bharti Airtel rose in early trade on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Wednesday, as the company had beaten analysts’ forecasts for the fourth quarter, though its weak financials remain a worry.

Shares of Bharti Airtel rose by more than 5% in early trade as investors cheered better-than-expected March quarterly numbers. It reached a high of 427.40 rupees (US$6.41) on the BSE against its previous close of 406.10 rupees, Moneycontrol.com reports.

The company on Tuesday reported a modest profit of 830 million rupees. That was its lowest profit in 15 years, but analysts had predicted a loss.

The profit was down by 78% from the 3.73 billion rupees that the firm reported for the same quarter last year. In the previous quarter, it had reported a profit of 3.06 billion rupees, implying a dip of 72%.

Since the entry of Reliance Jio in 2016, most Indian telecom operators have reported drastic drops in revenues and decreasing profitability, as they have been forced to match low tariffs to remain competitive. Many players such as Tata Teleservices, Telenor and others have even exited that market because of pricing pressure.