We maintain ‘buy’ on Hindalco, with a target price of R143. The stock trades at attractive bottom of the cycle valuations (EV of 6.9x FY15e Ebitda, 1x FY15e BV, 9.5x FY15e EPS). We have returned from our site visit of Utkal Alumina with renewed confidence in our positive view on Hindalco. We reiterate that it offers value to long-term investors despite volatility in LME. The company is exiting its heavy capex cycle, while cash flows are improving due to commissioning of new low cost upstream facilities in India and downstream auto segment investments at Novelis. Strong copper TcRc margins are also helping cash flows.
Hindalco’s 1.5-million tones per annum (mtpa) alumina refinery and bauxite mines have finally overcome challenges.
The Utkal Refinery is to produce 1.55 mtpa by FY16. The first 7.5 lakh tpa train has achieved capacity utilisation of ~90% (45% for full 1.5 mtpa capacity). The second train of 7.5 lakh tpa is expected to be commissioned by March end. With this, alumina production should increase from 3 lakh tonnes in FY14 to 1-1.3 million tonnes in FY15. The refinery has already achieved cost of production of ~USD220/ton, which will further reduce to $180-190 per tonne once the LDC is completed, coal linkages are secured and full capacity utilization is achieved. Then It will be the lowest cost producer in the world.