Stock’s cheap valuations are expected to go up; upgraded to ‘Buy’ with TP of Rs 243.
Our interaction with management revealed (a) key success factors for its Go To Market (GTM) strategy, (b) innovation-led new product launches in ECD segment driving growth and market share and
(c) pricing pressures in lighting segment.
GTM strategy would enable streamlining of working capital through the channel, monitor sales force productivity, provide visibility of buying patterns at retailer level and in essence enable sustained market share gain. ECD segment continues to do well on innovation-led product launches. Pipeline of launches and stronger on-ground execution due to GTM would aid Crompton consolidate its leadership position. Lighting segment continues to be under pressure as low entry barriers have led to multiple players in the fray, impacting the pricing of LED.
Our view: Crompton has a pipeline of strong innovation-led new product launches, well supported by streamlining of distribution channel through GTM strategy. Strong revenue growth (13-14% CAGR FY18-20), cost efficiencies and operating leverage benefits (50 bps margin expansion over FY18-20) lend credence to story of a market leader consolidating its position.
We expect Crompton to deliver 21% earnings growth (FY18-20) with best in class RoCE of 43-44% on an asset light model. Despite stellar return ratios and sustainable growth/margin trajectory, Crompton trades 15% below the sector average PE multiple and at 30% discount to Havells. This appears unjustified and we expect valuations to catch up. We upgrade Crompton to Buy with target price of Rs 243 (32x FY20EPS).