Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has become the first Indian company to hit the market capitalisation of ₹20 lakh crore after its shares saw a 13.68% rally in 2024 so far.

Shares of the oil-to-telecom behemoth opened a gap up at ₹2,910.40 on the BSE today, surging as high as ₹2,957.80, up 2% compared to the previous session close, hitting a 52-week high. At this share price, the RIL shares are trading 31.9% up from their 52-week low of ₹2,012.14 registered on March 20, 2023.

It took Reliance Industries around 19 years to reach from ₹1 lakh crore m-cap to ₹20 lakh crore. The data shows RIL had hit ₹1 lakh crore market cap way back in August 2005.

RIL took 12 years before it hit ₹5 lakh crore m-cap in 2017, and the ₹10-lakh crore milestone was achieved in November 2019. The ₹15 lakh crore m-cap was achieved in September 2021.

RIL has also outperformed the BSE benchmark Sensex in terms of returns in the last year. The country’s most-valued stock surged 26.63% in the past year vs 21% growth in Sensex, It saw a 14.25% rise in the past six months against an 11% rally in Sensex.

The recent rally in RIL shares has been triggered amid rising speculation that Mukesh Ambani's media business could merge with Walt Disney's India unit by the end of this month and that talks are in final stages. Reports say Disney is looking to sell 60% of its India business to Reliance-backed Viacom18 at a valuation of $3.9 billion (₹33,000 crore).

The merger talks have gained momentum, especially after another news and entertainment major ZEE's $10 billion deal with Japanese group Sony failed in January 2024.

After RIL recorded good Q3 FY24 results with better-than-expected earnings across standalone, retail and Jio, several analysts also turned bullish on the stock, revising the target price beyond ₹3,000 apiece.

RIL's Q3 FY24 consolidated EBITDA came out to be ₹40,656 crore, while its consolidated profit was ₹17,265 crore, up 9.3% YoY. The company's gross revenue was recorded at 3.2% to ₹2,48,160 crore in Q3 FY24.

"RIL is a compelling long-term investment bet given strong prospects across businesses and potential value unlocking from retail, digital services, and financial services portfolio would create long-term value for shareholders. We maintain a Buy with a revised SoTP-based PT of ₹3,130," Sharekhan said in its note.

BoB Caps has also maintained a "BUY" rating, with a higher target price of ₹3,175, with an upside of 19%. "RIL’s consumer businesses remain key beneficiaries of India’s growth story," says the brokerage, adding that Jio 2.0's acceleration is vital for the next wave of growth at RIL.

CLSA also assigned a ‘BUY’ rating, with a target price of ₹3,060 per share, saying that EBITDA/EBIT was in line. Morgan Stanley, another foreign brokerage, had, however, given an ‘overweight’ call, with a target price of ₹2,821 per share.

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