Shares of Reliance Industries (RIL) hit a new record high on Friday, driven by a sustained rally in the last one month. The share price of the oil-to-telecom conglomerate surged over 11% in January versus 1.5% rise in BSE Sensex, registering its biggest monthly gain since March 2022, amid buzz over deal with Walt Disney as well as robust December quarter earnings.

Extending gains for the third straight session, RIL shares opened higher at ₹2,864.45 against the previous closing price of ₹2,852.70 on the BSE. In the first two hours of trade so far, Reliance Industries shares gained as much as 3% to hit a fresh all-time high of ₹2,937.80 per share, while market capitalisation touched a record high of ₹19.86 lakh crore mark. The country’s most valued stock has risen 46% in the past 11 months, rebounding from its 52-week low of ₹2,012.14 touched on March 20, 2023.

RIL has outperformed BSE benchmark Sensex in terms of returns in the last one year. In the past 12 months, Reliance shares have risen nearly 31% as compared to 21% growth in Sensex, while it surged 18% in six month versus 11% rise in Sensex during the period. The shares of RIL have jumped 27% in three months compared with 14% increase in the BSE benchmark during the same period.

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 as early as February. In a fresh development, Disney has reportedly agreed to sell 60% of its India business to Reliance-backed Viacom18 at a valuation of $3.9 billion (₹33,000 crore). The merger talk gained momentum after Sony-Zee's $10 billion deal failed last month. This would help billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led conglomerate to create a $10 billion media business in the South Asian market.

Besides, analysts also turned bullish on RIL after its December quarter earnings. The company posted 10.9% YoY growth in net profit at ₹19,641 crore, while gross revenue rose 3.2% to ₹2,48,160 crore as in Q3 FY24. EBITDA grew 16.7% YoY to ₹44,678 crore, while the margin stood at 18%, up 210 basis points YoY.

Post Q3, CLSA assigned a ‘buy’ rating on RIL with a target price of ₹3,060 per share, saying that EBITDA/EBIT was in line. Morgan Stanley, another foreign brokerage, gave an ‘overweight’ call on the stock with a target price of ₹2,821 per share.

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