Standalone EBITDA/ton at Rs 15,300 softened from its record Rs 18,000 in Q2 on cost rise and negative operating leverage. Cost rise was mainly on forex loss in Tata Steel Holdings investments. However, Ebitda is expected to remain weak hereafter on falling prices of steel. Management sees `3,500/t drop in realisation in Q4 which will partly be offset by operating leverage, lower raw material, power costs.
Q3FY19 standalone volumes was 2.97 mnt, down 10/7% y-o-y/q-o-q, as buyers postponed purchase in anticipation of falling steel prices; coupled with liquidity tightness. Consolidated/standalone Ebitda at rs 67/45 bn, 18%/-7% y-o-y, was in line with our estimates but 6% lower than consensus.
We roll over TP to FY21 and value the company at 5/4.5x EV/Ebitda for India/Overseas business. We revise our FY19/20/21e EPS estimate to Rs 66/63/69 (Rs 73/66/ 73 earlier) to factor in lower realisations. Our revised TP stands at Rs 547 (16% upside from CMP of Rs 470). Retain Buy.
Volumes to recover: As steel prices slid steeply since November, buyers postponed purchase; hence, December sales of Indian steel were weak. Steel prices inched upside in February; hence steel companies believe restocking will happen now and expect Q4 to absorb volume loss of Q3. Management guided for 16.5 mnt of sales in FY19 (we assumed 12 mnt).
Current prices: Globally, steel prices increased by $40/t recently after production disruption on Vale’s dam collapse in Brazil. From February, Indian companies increased steel prices by `300-700/t; however, with weakening HRC demand against backdrop of higher imports and increasing supply in rebar space, the sustainability of price hikes is a challenge.