The fourth quarter numbers appear impressive because of a clutch of metal players —Vedanta, JSW Steel, Tata Steel, Hindustan Zinc. These companies have all turned around swinging from loss to profit.
Most of the companies are out with their fourth quarter results and only a few have been able to impress the markets with their performance. The March quarter earnings overall have been disappointing so far. According to The Financial Express newspaper, the numbers appear impressive because of a clutch of metal players —Vedanta, JSW Steel, Tata Steel, Hindustan Zinc. These companies have all turned around swinging from loss to profit. The rest of India Inc appears to be struggling; for a sample of 1,182 companies (excluding Reliance, oil marketers, and metal players) net sales have gone up just 5% y-o-y. Even if the environment is a relatively disinflationary one, the top line growth has been rather subdued.
We take a look at results of some of the companies and the ratings which the brokerage houses have recommended post their Q4 results.
The fifth biggest software exporter on Friday announced its fourth quarter results and posted a 31.2 per cent decline in its March quarter net at Rs 588 crore, citing currency volatilities and change in business landscape as the reasons behind the weak performance. C P Gurnani, CEO and managing director C P Gurnani said despite the revenue growth, profitability is a concern and the management will be focusing more on it in FY18. Reacting to the net profit fall, shares of the IT company fell over 16 per cent on Monday. The share price opened at Rs 395 and touched a high and low of Rs 395 and Rs 357.60, respectively, in trade so far. The company announced its fourth quarter results post market hours. After the results, brokerage houses have revised the rating on the stock.
Jefferies analysts have said that muted commentary and lack of confidence suggests that a pickup in revenue and margin is likely skewed towards 2HFY18.
Another brokerage house Edelweiss has maintained a ‘Buy’ rating on the stock with target price of Rs 563, saying, excluding the LCC, business is gaining traction and margin will also improve hereon spurred by higher utilisation, automation and non-recurrence of LCC related expenses. Edelweiss had earlier kept the target price at Rs 642.
Sun Pharma posted a 14 per cent decline in consolidated net profit at Rs 1,223 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31 as against Rs 1,416 crore for the same period of previous fiscal. The company said that pricing pressure in the US market impacted its performance. The pharma major also said that its US sales might fall this year because of pressure on drug prices, signalling tough market conditions in the United States for generic drugmakers. “The U.S. generics industry is facing rapidly changing market dynamics, (and) increased competitive intensity and customer consolidation is leading to pressure on pricing,” Sun’s Managing Director Dilip Shanghvi said on a call with analysts after the company reported lower than expected fourth-quarter earnings. “We may even have a single digit decline in consolidated revenue for full-year 2018 versus full-year 2017.”
Global brokerage house Morgan Stanley has slashed the target price on the stocks by 32 per cent and said, “Sun is facing a confluence of challenges – lack of new approvals owing to Halol, rising cost structure from specialty build-out/R&D, and erosion in the US business.”
Edelweiss has maintained a ‘Buy’ rating on the stock with revised target price of Rs 680. It had earlier kept the target price at Rs 860. The brokerage house said, “specialty business strategy will lend far more sustainability to SUNP’s profit versus peers and thus it remains our preferred pick in the large-cap pack.
ITC on Friday reported 12.13 per cent rise in standalone net profit to Rs 2,669.47 crore for the fourth quarter of 2016-17 as against net profit of Rs 2,380.68 crore for the January-March quarter of last fiscal. Its net sales during the period under review were up 6.15 per cent to Rs 15,008.82 crore as against Rs 14,138.78 crore for the corresponding quarter last fiscal. The company’s total expense stood at Rs 11,363.78 crore, up 5.29 per cent as against Rs 10,792.48 crore in the fourth quarter of 2015-16. At 11.56 am, ITC share price was trading 2.41 per cent at Rs 316.10 on Monday.
Analysts have maintained the ‘Buy’ recommendation on the stocks after its better-than-expected performance
Brokerage house Sharekhan has maintained a ‘Buy’ rating on the stock with revised target price of Rs 350. It said, “ITC has posted a decent operating performance for Q4FY2017 in a challenging market. The risks in the core Cigarette business are receding, as the government has indicated that the rate under GST will be tax neutral in the first year of GST implementation and will be increased only gradually in the coming years. Therefore, we do not expect any significant increase in cigarette prices and foresee volume improving gradually in the coming quarters. The Non-cigarette FMCG business would see better growth in the coming years, with an expected pick-up in rural demand.”
Edelweiss has also maintained a ‘Buy’ rating on the stock with target price of Rs 370. It said, “With per capita consumption 1/18th China’s, cigarette opportunity in India remains attractive. Though illegal cigarettes are a big menace (one-fifth of overall cigarette industry in India), GST implementation will mitigate the impact.”
Indian Oil Corporation
Country’s biggest refiner posted 85 per cent jump in the March quarter net profit at Rs 3,720.62 crore as compared to Rs 2,005.89 crore in the same period of the previous fiscal. It earned 8.95 on turning every barrel of crude oil into fuel in the fourth quarter of 2016-17 fiscal as compared to a gross refining margin (GRM) of USD 2.99 a barrel in the same period of previous fiscal. The company had an inventory gain of Rs 2,634 crore in the fourth quarter as compared to an inventory loss of Rs 3,417 crore in the same period of 2015-16 financial year. Revenue from operations were up 24 per cent to Rs 1,22,285.30 crore. Its refineries turned 17.1 million tonne of crude oil into fuel during the quarter as opposed to a throughput of 15.01 MT in the previous fiscal.
Brokerage House Sharekhan has downgraded the stock rating to ‘Neutral’ post its fourth quarter results. It said, ” IOCL’s stock price has rallied by 48% since the initiation of our viewpoint report (published on November 16, 2016), driven by strong improvement in the margins of Refining and Petrochemicals businesses, and steady ramp-up of the utilisation rate at the Paradip refinery. We see limited upside from the current level, as we do not expect scope for further earnings upgrades. Therefore, we downgrade our view on IOCL to ‘neutral’ and recommend investors to wait for better entry levels for fresh investment in the stock.” The company’s current market price is Rs 426.
Edelweiss has maintained a ‘Brokerage’ rating on the stock with target price of Rs 484. The brokerage house remains upbeat on IOCL given strong structural earnings prospects as the highly profitable Paradip refinery will enhance profitability, and mega INR1.8tn capex over 7 years will be funded via internal accruals.
DLF on Friday announced its fourth quarter results and reported a Rs 135.63-crore consolidated net profit for the March quarter of the last fiscal as compared to net loss of Rs 180.54 crore in the same period of the 2015-16 fiscal. The company said the performance was mainly on account of lower tax outgo. The total income of the company fell by 8 per cent to Rs 2,511.37 crore in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal from Rs 2,732.76 crore in the year-ago period. Tax expense fell to Rs 54 crore from Rs 164 crore while the company earned an exceptional profit of Rs 94 crore during the period under review.
Brokerage house Edelweiss has maintained a ‘Hold’ rating on the stock with target price of Rs 194. It said, “DLF’s residential new sales continued to remain lackluster in Q4FY17. We expect this to continue in ensuing quarters as well given sustained slowdown in its mainstay Gurgaon market coupled with limited visibility on new launches. Though rental business is robust, meaningful uptick in annuity income is likely only post FY19 when upcoming assets become operational. Valuation of promoter stake sale in rental assets, improvement in Gurgaon market and new launches are key stock catalysts.”