Global brokerages Deutsche bank and CLSA reiterated their bullishness on the shares of Axis Bank, after the private lender reported strong Q3 results. Axis Bank on Monday reported a 25% increase in its third quarter net profit to Rs 726 crore as compared to Rs 579.57 crore for the comparable quarter previous fiscal, helped by strong loan growth in both retail and corporate segments and a lower provision for bad loans. Deutsche Bank observed that slippages and credit costs may remain elevated for a few quarters. The global bank has raised the target price on the shares of Axis Bank to Rs 670. The shares were trading at Rs 619.4, up by more than 1.2% on Tuesday morning. The firm expects a turnaround in performance from FY19. Deutsche bank has cut FY18 estimates, but retained FY19-20 estimates. CLSA said that the earnings missed its estimates due to higher provisions. Provision for bad loans fell 26% from the year-ago period to Rs 2,811.04 crore in the December quarter, the bank said. In the previous quarter, it stood at Rs 3,140.41 crore. CLSA has raised the target price on the shares to Rs 730 from Rs 650 earlier. The firm\u2019s target price implies an upside of nearly 20% from current market prices. CLSA observed that the decline in NPLs was a positive in the quarter. The gross non-performing assets (NPA) increased marginally to 5.28% in the December quarter from 5.22% a year ago, but was lower than 5.90% in the September quarter. Track live stock price: Axis Bank Further, CLSA said that addition to below investment grade loans remain elevated.\u00a0The net NPA ratio increased to 2.56% from 2.18%. In the previous quarter it was 3.12%. \u201cRecoveries and upgrades were Rs 4,008 crore, while write-offs during the quarter were Rs 2,822 crore. In October-December, the bank recovered substantial amount in cash from an IT\/ITES account and also upgraded one account in the steel sector. These two accounts were part of the nine accounts that were reclassified as NPA by the bank in Q2FY18,\u201d Jairam Sridharan, chief financial officer, Axis Bank.Sridharan said. Taking stock of the results, Jairam Sridharan, CFO said, \u201cThere are clear signs that growth has started picking up. Our loan growth during the quarter was quite strong at 21%, and that growth was across all segments. The retail segment grew 29% year-on-year. In SME, we saw a growth of 27% and corporate credit grew 12%."