Fading order visibility

Nov 18 2012, 23:17 IST
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SummaryVoltas profit after tax missed our and the Street’s estimates by a wide margin.

International projects, margins disappoint; eclipse revenue growth

Voltas profit after tax missed our and the Street’s estimates by a wide margin. The principal reason for this miss was poor Ebit (earnings before interest and taxes) margins in the Electro Mechanical Projects (MEP) segment (at roughly 1.0%) due to cost overrun in its international projects. While some of these issues are likely to be sorted in the medium term, uncertainty over orders and margin recovery plague earnings visibility.

Management also re-iterated concerns on: (i) weak international order inflow pipeline and that the Abu Dhabi airport order being the only big ticket project visible; (ii) continued challenges in the Saudi and Qatar markets due to visa restrictions impacting profitability, and (iii) new projects continue to be bid at 4-5% margin levels in the MEP segment, while electrical (Rohini) and water segments are facing execution challenges. We now build in further cut in margin in MEP segment over FY13-15F (forecast) along with higher working capital intensity; accordingly our earnings estimates are down 4%-7% over FY13-15F .

Catalyst: Domestic and Middle East capex revival; strengthening of crude oil prices

Valuation: We now value Voltas at 12x (times) in line with mid-cycle multiple (previously 14.0x) and average of FY14F/FY15F EPS (earnings per share) to arrive at our TP (target price) of R111. We reiterate our Neutral call.

Q2FY13 results: Revenue growth in line: Net sales at R11.6bn (+5% y-o-y) beat our estimates by 7%, though marginally lower than consensus expectations. On the back of lower-than-expected margins, Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) at R440m (+61%y-o-y) missed our/Street estimates by 16%/27%. The key reason for the miss was poor margins in the EMP segment. On the positive side, revenue growth in all major segments beat our expectations. EMP revenue grew +2.0% y-o-y, Engineering Products at -5.0% y-o-y and UCP (Unitary Cooling Products) +22.0% y-o-y.

Profitability was impacted by cost overrun in its international projects. EBIT margin at 1% was significantly lower than our expectation (at 5.5%). The UCP segment recorded strong performance with high top-line growth and an improved margin of 7.8%. Recurring PAT (adjusted for one-time gain of R145m) at R326m was significantly lower than our and street’s estimates.

Key takeaways from conference call

Overall, management commentary failed to provide any cheer. We note no positive highlights from the call; even the UCP segment that did well is likely to be at risk (on

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