Saturday 8 March 2008

Broker's Recomendations

Allied Digital
CMP: Rs 697
Target Price: Rs 1,200

Broking house JP Morgan has initiated coverage with an ‘overweight’ on Allied Digital (ALDS). “ALDS is a play on the strong domestic demand for IT services with more than 90% of its revenues coming from India. We expect the stock to deliver more sedate gains over the next 9-12 months, backed by high growth potential and management’s decent execution track record,” the brokerage said.

Indian domestic IT services is a $5 billion industry. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 23% over the next five years to over $10 billion. JP Morgan believes the domestic IT exposure shields ALDS from concerns about a US slowdown, rupee appreciation and expiry of STPI tax benefits in FY10. The key drivers would be strong financial performance and possible acquisitions, using a part of the IPO proceeds, along with increased capacity utilisation of its remote IT management centres.

BHEL
CMP: Rs 2,026
Target Price: Rs 2,529

Citigroup has reiterated its ‘buy’ on BHEL, but with a downward revision in price target as it feels that its operating leverage which is largely over and the cost reduction efforts are working against it. “BHEL expanded EBIT margins from 0% in FY01 to 18% in FY07 and right-sized its workforce from 75,000 to 42,000 in four successive voluntary retirement schemes (VRS) from 1999 to 2003, cutting down operational costs and benefited from operating leverage,” said the brokerage in a note to clients.

Capital goods companies significantly expand margins when there is spare capacity and sales grow at a rapid pace benefiting from operating leverage.

“We believe that there is great likelihood of BHEL’s earning before interest tax (EBIT) margins peaking in FY08E. Once this happens, earnings growth has to largely track sales growth and will not benefit from operating leverage benefits,” it adds. The brokerage, however, terms BHEL its top pick in the Indian electric equipment rated universe.

Container Corp
CMP: Rs 1698
Target Price: NA

Merrill Lynch has retained its ‘sell’ recommendation on Container Corporation of India on not so attractive valuations, given muted growth prospects. However, the company does have some huge capex plans.

“We are raising earnings per share (EPS) driven by upward revision to volumes and lower margin erosion. Still, we expect muted 12% EPS compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over FY08-10, compared with 9% growth this year,” said the brokerage. The company is yet to finalise its scaled up capex plans of Rs 40 billion (from Rs 20 billion), to be spent over the next three years.

The brokerage believes that this will be largely directed towards initiatives across the value chain and through joint ventures, which will protect existing volumes and reduce project risk. However, the uncertainty and lag effect of benefits could impact stock performance. It believes that the stock is not attractively valued on traditional parameters, even though the stock trades at 13 times its one-year forward PE multiple.

Tata Steel
CMP: Rs 773
Target Price: Rs 1,038

HDFC Securities has given a ‘buy’ on Tata Steel on expectations of economies of scale and growing steel demand. According to the brokerage, the valuations are compelling with increased integration milestone achievements and a bullish outlook on steel prices. It expects the demand for steel in Asia and Europe to grow at 4.8% and 1.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) respectively.

“Steel prices are expected to remain firm due to high raw material prices and rising supply constraints. Supply constraints in terms of poor port facilities at Australia and Brazil and high freight rates, will also keep the prices firm,” says the brokerage in a note to its clients.

Additionally, the synergies from the Corus acquisition is expected to start reflecting from financial year 2009, coupled with a reduction in concerns on financial leverage. Key risk factors include increased environmental awareness and exchange rates movements.