We retain ‘buy’ rating on IPCA Laboratories with a target price of R916 per share. IPCA has a great execution track record. It’s undergoing a temporary disruption in growth story. We have analysed three scenarios that could unfold over FY15-17e, based on which we see a potential upside of 30% in next 18 months. However, if a warning letter or an import alert takes more than two years to resolve, there could be a downside risk of 15%. We believe risk-reward is favourable.
In our recent interaction with CMD Prem Godha and senior management, we discussed IPCA’s action plan to get US supplies on track. IPCA was already on course to automate its process and activities to reduce human intervention. Since remedial measures are already underway, the management expects a resolution in six months, based on its consultant’s feedback. We believe IPCA is the only company to have voluntarily discontinued production to this extent after receiving a form 483 from the US FDA and, hence, drawing an analogy from US FDA actions for the industry players in the past may not be prudent.
Of the $34 million formulations sales in the US, ~75% are from three products where IPCA has significant market share. There are five products where IPCA’s partners hold a majority market share. These are high volume products where competition might find it difficult to match IPCA’s scale. IPCA remains confident of regaining lost market share on resumption of supplies in the US.