Difficult to predict festive season sales – Bajaj AutoNeha Kshirsagar
Update on the Indian Equity Market:
On Friday, Nifty ended 0.3% higher at 11,930 led by the auto stocks. The top gainers for Nifty 50 were Maruti (+4.3%), M&M (+3.3%), and Tata Steel (+3.3%) while the losing stocks for the day were Ultra Cement (-2.4%), HCL Tech (-1.6%), and HUL (-1.6%). Top gaining sectors were Auto (+2.9%), Media (+0.7%), and IT (+0.5%) while top losing sectors are Realty (-1.1%), Pharma (-0.4%) and Pvt Bank (-0.04%).
Edited excerpts of an interview with Mr Rakesh Sharma, ED, Bajaj Auto Ltd; dated 22nd October 2020 from CNBC TV18:
The geographical mix & the business unit mix have a very big impact on the blended margins of Bajaj Auto. Last year the Company faced many headwinds in maintaining the margins. The Company is optimistic about maintaining the margins reported in 2QFY21 despite raw material cost increases seen.
There has been a marginal improvement in walk-ins, enquiries & sales over the beginning of the festive period last year.
Bajaj Auto is optimistic about maintaining margin despite raw material cost increase and they have streamlined low margin products.
The Company recorded the highest ever sales of Pulsar in 2QFY21. This impacted margins in a positive way during the quarter.
The Company had the highest ever exports in September-20 and October performance will beat September performance according to Mr Sharma. If the Company does not have any supply chain issues and transport interruption, then in November they will beat October exports.
The Company saw a smart recovery in domestic performance. They aim to improve the domestic market share from 18.2% in H1 to 20% in H2. There is a huge scope for expansion in market share but the Company does not want to compromise the margins and profitability for gaining the market shares.
It is very difficult to make predictions about the festive season sales as of now. The industry is seeing a slight improvement in enquiry and sales in this festive season. Post festive where all pent up demand is exhausted, it is interesting to see how the industry and demand responds. This will be the most important thing to be considered.
125cc segment is more profitable than 100cc and thus Bajaj Auto has expanded this market segment.
The ultra-premium segment (KTM/ Dominar) has clocked 10,000-12,000 units run rate per month currently.
The underperforming models/ low margin products of the Company have been stream-lined and prices have been increased during 2QFY21.
Bajaj Auto has passed on cost increases from September-20 onwards in the majority of the International markets. It had been a very difficult exercise for the Company as the Chinese & Japanese brands which has seen a huge revival, the company had to face intense competition.
The Company hopes the three-wheelers will start performing well with support from the Government initiatives.
Consensus Estimate: (Source: market screener website)
The closing price of Bajaj Auto Ltd was ₹ 3,090/- as of 23-October-2020. It traded at 20.7x/ 17.2x/15.0x the consensus book value estimate of ₹ 149/180/206 for FY21E/ FY22E/ FY23E respectively.
The consensus target price of ₹ 3,088/- implies a PE multiple of 15.0x on FY23E EPS of ₹ 206/-.
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