Analyst Corner: ‘Neutral’ on Info Edge; price target at Rs 2,400

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Published: April 11, 2020 8:54 AM

The Naukri JobSpeak Index for Mar’20 marked decline of 18% in hiring activity against that in Mar’19.

Analyst Corner, Info Edge, Info Edge price target, Naukri JobSpeak Index, BFSI, SOTPbased price target Hiring activity had shown early signs of slowing down from January itself, but the plunge came only in March.

Naukri.com publishes monthly hiring trends, with details across experience levels, sectors, and geographies. Appended below are the key highlights observed as of Mar’20. Note that Naukri JobSpeak Index indicates the newly added job listings on the portal. This represents the white collar hiring activity in the country as Naukri has >70% market share in the same.

The Naukri JobSpeak Index for Mar’20 marked decline of 18% in hiring activity against that in Mar’19. On a monthly level, this implies a 19% drop.

The first 20 days of Mar’20 saw just a 5% fall. However, due to the nationwide lockdown, a substantial drop was observed in recruitment activity in the last 10 days of the month, resulting in an overall drop of 18% in hiring.

The decrease in hiring activity was led by industries such as Hotel/ Restaurant/Travel/Airlines (-56%), Retailing (-50%), Auto/Ancillary (- 38%), Pharma (-26%), Insurance (-11%), Accounting (-10%), IT-Software (-9%), and BFSI (-9%).

Decline in new jobs was consistent across geographies. Delhi slipped by 26%, followed by Chennai & Hyderabad at 24% and 18%, respectively. Mumbai saw a YoY drop of 14% in new job postings. Demand for entry-level job seekers with experience of 0–3 years and mid-level executives with experience of 4–7 years fell by 16% each. Similarly, hiring for mid-management roles with 8–12 years experience witnessed a drop of 20%.

We foresee a halt in near-term momentum, led by the expectation of billing decline in the recruitment segment for 1HFY20. However, given the market positioning of its entities, multi-dimensional growth can be expected for Info Edge (INFOE) in the medium-to-long term, backed by recruitment, real estate, and Zomato (its biggest investee company). Our SOTPbased price target of rs 2,400 implies 6% upside to CMP. Maintain Neutral.

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