Update on the Indian Equity Market:
On Thursday, NIFTY closed up at 15,790 (+0.6%). Top gainers in NIFTY50 were Infy (+3.5%), TCS (+3.3%), and JSW Steel (+2.2%). The top losers were Reliance (-2.6%), IOC (-1.3%), and Coal India (-1.1%). The top sectoral gainers were IT (+2.8%), PVT BANK (+0.8%) and BANK (0.7%) and sectoral losers were PSU BANK (-1.4%), MEDIA (-1.1%), and REALTY (-0.8%).
Excerpts of an interview with Mr. Shashank Srivastava, ED, Maruti Suzuki (MARUTI) with ET Now dated 22nd June 2021
- Car is a discretionary product. It is a very large-item product; it is probably the second-largest purchase people make in their lifetime in India. As a result, future demand depends on the economy in general — the per capita income growth and the sentiment.
- Per capita income growth is expected around 10% as RBI had indicated, lower than the budget figure which was indicated around 14% or so. After the second wave, there has been a lowering down of expectations of economic growth.
- The rural sentiment is a little more negative at this time of the year compared with last year. The fundamentals of the economy in the rural area are still strong. There can be a good bounce back.
- OEMs are a little apprehensive of making forward projections at this time because of all this uncertainty. People are talking of a third wave. Unless the sentiment related to Covid becomes negative, there can still be a bounce back.
- Inquiry levels are getting better. Last week’s levels were almost similar to what they had at the beginning of April. That is pretty good.
- Closure of outlets, because of weekend lockdowns or whatever, naturally causes a dip. Having said that, inquiries and bookings seem to be coming back as more and more states are unlocking.
- Cost of running and fuel efficiency are important criteria for the Indian buyer. There are substantial savings if you use CNG. Besides, the availability of CNG now is also much better. They have had good traction on that front.
- A couple of years back, they were making about 100-1,000 CNG cars a year. In FY21 they did something like 1,58,000-1,60,000. This year they are projecting sales of almost 2,50,000 for CNG.
- The percentage of electric vehicles being sold in India as well as globally is still very small. The primary reason for it is that the cost of acquisition of electric vehicles is extremely high, largely because the battery costs are very high. There is also the distance-per-charge limitation.
- Cheaper technology is currently not available, which is one of the basic hindrances to the progress of EVs. The other major factor is the lack of charging infrastructure.
- In hatchbacks their market share is 65-66%, in sedans almost 50%, in PVs segment, they are more than 60% now, and in vans, they are 90-95%. The one area which seems to be a weak area for them seems to be SUVs.
- There too, in the entry-level, they are sitting pretty with the Brezza, the number one model there in the entry-level SUV segment.
- In the mid-SUV segment where competition has the Seltos and the Creta, they have the S Cross. Their numbers are not so great yet. They are quite conscious of this fact and they are watching this SUV segment very closely.
- After April’s plant shut down owing to the oxygen issue, they restarted production on May 17. They brought forward the maintenance shutdown from June to May. Since the restart, they have been ramping up rapidly. Their utilization is pretty strong at the moment.
- About semiconductors, there is a global shortage. Maruti has been able to manage production well largely because they have the advantage of a large portfolio — different vehicles using different levels of semiconductors.
- If semiconductors are not available of a particular type in a particular variant, they then go and produce more of the other. They are just hoping that the situation will normalize in a while.
Asset Multiplier comments:
- There has been a good bounce back in volumes for auto companies in 4QFY21 and volume data is showing good recovery.
- In a post-COVID-19 environment, the entry-level hatchback segment, national scrappage policy, and new launches are expected to drive sales.
- The Indian electric vehicle (EV) market also might see positive movement in 2021-2022.
Consensus Estimate: (Source: market screener and investing.com websites)
- The closing price of MARUTI was ₹ 7,531/- as of 24-June-2021. It traded at 35x/ 27x the consensus earnings estimate of ₹ 214/ 284 for FY22E/23E respectively.
- The consensus price target is ₹ 6,367/- which trades at 22x the earnings estimate for FY23E of ₹ 284/-
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