Safaricom’s rally to a record has made Kenya’s biggest company overvalued, with analysts forecasting a 10% drop in the next 12 months.
Shares of the Nairobi-based company, in which South Africa’s Vodacom Group holds a 34.9% stake, rose to an unprecedented KSh43 on Tuesday. The surge comes after Ethiopian authorities said they will allow Safaricom’s subsidiary to offer lucrative mobile money services in Africa’s second most populous nation.
Ethiopia’s pledge to open up the industry is yet to impress analysts. None of the 10 analysts tracking Safaricom has had a buy recommendation on the stock since 28 May. There’s also concern a conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region is spreading to neighbouring areas and may hurt overseas investment into the nation.
“The price is too high because what is fuelling it is speculation on future earnings,” said Renaldo D’Souza, head of research at Nairobi-based Sterling Capital, who has a “hold” recommendation. “If anything, the income has been declining so we have a fair valuation rather than a price target.”
Safaricom’s recommendation consensus — a gauge of analyst confidence in a stock on a scale of 1 to 5 — stands at 2.77, the lowest on record. Meanwhile, analysts’ 12-month target price for the stock is KSh38.61, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Safaricom declined to comment when contacted on Tuesday. — Reported by Eric Ombok, (c) 2021 Bloomberg LP