Covid-19 impact on demand is yet to be felt in India – Mr. Sharma, Bajaj Auto

Covid-19 impact on demand is yet to be felt in India – Mr. Sharma, Bajaj Auto

Excerpts from an interview of Mr Rakesh Sharma, Executive Director, Bajaj Auto with CNBC -TV18 dated 12th March 2020

Update on the Indian Equity Market:

On Thursday, NIFTY continued its losing streak, closing at 9,590 (-8.3%). The top losers in NIFTY50 were Yes Bank (-13.0%), UPL (-13.0%) and Vedanta (-12.6%). None of the Nifty stocks ended on a positive note. All the sectors ended on a negative note and the top sectoral losers were PSU Banks (-13.2%), Media (-10.3%) and Realty (-9.8%).

  • Speaking on demand Mr. Sharma said that the impact of Covid-19 in India is yet to be felt.
  • The supply chain is improving for Bajaj Auto and the imports from China have resumed.
  • The attendance of the tier-II, tier-III suppliers in China who supply to vendors of Bajaj Auto had dropped to 10% but now the attendance is steadily rising. Now attendance is about 75%.
  • There could be new linkages emerging between Italy, Germany, and China and if that happens the company will have to watch out but at this point, the supply chain situation is improving and the demand situation within the country is not yet seeing much of an impact.
  • Some congestion at ports is causing 6-7 days delay, but it is an insignificant issue for Bajaj Auto.
  • Speaking about the next quarter, he said, the recovery process will be slow as underlying demand was impacted because of the BS-VI shift and the sentiment is now affected because of the coronavirus.
  • Q1FY21 will be a difficult quarter, the virus will act as a negative force and adjustment of people to new cost which requires positive sentiment is difficult in this scenario.
  • Speaking about the current market scenario, he said the cost of money will not be an issue but due to the economic backdrop the logic on lending is becoming severe.
  • About the autos, he said 30-40 percent of sales in March have shifted to BS-VI.

Consensus Estimate: (Source: market screener and websites)

  • The closing price of Bajaj Auto was ₹ 2,350/- as of 12-March-2020.  It traded at 13.5x/12.8x/ 11.4x the consensus earnings estimate of ₹ 173/ 183 /205 for FY20E/21E/22E respectively.
  • The consensus target price for Bajaj Auto is ₹ 3,280/- which implies a PE multiple of 16x on FY22E EPS of ₹ 205/-.

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