Preference for Margins over Volume Growth: HDFC Life

Preference for Margins over Volume Growth: HDFC Life

Update on Indian Equity Market:

Markets were on the rise today, with Nifty increasing 212 points to 14,865. Bajaj Finance (8.0%), Indusind Bank (4.9%), and Eicher Motors (4.8%) were the top gainers on the index while Britannia (-2.0%), Hindalco (-1.0%), and Nestle (-1.0%) were the top losers for the day. Among the sectoral indices, Bank (3.0%), Private Bank (3.0%), and Financial Services (2.9%), led the gainers while Realty (-0.6%), Pharma (-0.3%), and Metal (-0.3%) ended in the red.


Excerpts of an interview with Ms. Vibha Padalkar, CEO of HDFC Life with Bloomberg Quint dated 28th April 2021:


  • HDFC Life expects to record profit margins upwards of 70% irrespective of the covid-19 impact. 
  • Company prefers to protect high profit margins and to grow moderately than chase topline growth, especially in the protection segment due to uncertainty and higher risk due to covid-19.
  • Company aims to expand into the annuity segment which is a highly lucrative and retiral segment which is showing good potential going forward.
  • The risk associated with price hike as a result of covid-19 cannot be ruled out entirely. The company ensures that the price hike will be passed over to customers in a phased manner.
  • In order to reduce risk, the company wants to diversify its product portfolio to improve contributions from annuity and protection segments


Asset Multiplier Comments:

  •  The Company has identified key areas, in order to sustain growth by focusing on margins cover and sustainable growth, which provides a long term positive outlook for the company.
  • These efforts will help the company grow beyond FY22 and with the expansion of the Insurance industry is poised for stellar growth.


Consensus Estimates (Source: market screener website):

  • The closing price of HDFC Life was ₹ 673/- as of 28-April-2021.  It traded at75x/ 67x the consensus EPS estimate of ₹ 9/ ₹ 10 for FY22E/23E respectively.
  • The consensus price target is ₹ 758/- which trades at 76x the EPS estimate for FY23E of ₹ 10/-
  • In the case of life insurance companies, the embedded value per share is the correct multiple for valuing the company. The consensus estimate of this metric is not available on any of the websites.

Disclaimer: “The views expressed are for information purposes only. The information provided herein should not be considered as investment advice or research recommendation. The users should rely on their own research and analysis and should consult their own investment advisors to determine the merit, risks, and suitability of the information provided.”


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