Slow and steady recovery over the next 2-4 years – Info Edge
Update on the Indian Equity Market:
On Tuesday, amid rising coronavirus cases and fresh lockdowns being imposed in some of the Covid-19 hotspots in India, the Nifty50 ended 1.8% lower at 10,607. PRIVATE BANK (-3.3%), PSU BANK (-3.1%), and BANK (-3.2%) dragged the index lower. PHARMA (+0.5%) was the only sectoral index to end in the green. Among the Nifty50 stocks, DRREDDY (+1.9%), TITAN (+0.9%), and BHARTIARTL (0.3%) were the only gainers. INDUSINDBK (-5.5%), AXISBANK (-4.9%), and EICHERMOT (-4.5%) led the laggards.
Edited excerpts of an interview with Hitesh Oberoi, MD & CEO, Info Edge India with Economic Times on 13th July 2020:
- The months of April and May witnessed lockdown and a halt in all business activities. The JobSpeak Index published monthly is closely linked to revenue on their platform and it has gone up by 33%. The activities on all the platforms- 99acres, Naukri, Shiksha, and Jeevansathi are almost back to normal.
- They are growing 25-30% in the emerging markets already. The big cities like Mumbai and Delhi, which are more impacted by Covid and lockdown, they are still down 25-30%.
- Revenue in Naukri and all the verticals will follow with a lag, that’s how it always works. Green shoots in sectors like IT, healthcare, pharma, and tech can be seen. Other sectors like travel, tourism, hospitality, and auto things continue to be 70-80% below where they were last year.
- The company is a cash-rich company, with Rs 1,500 crore cash with a 50% EBITDA margin and they see a lot of opportunity going ahead. There are four verticals from an internal business standpoint: jobs, real estate, matrimony, and education.
- Although the company is a clear leader in jobs, they want to do many things in that vertical, which will require investment over time. They already have a play in recruitment automation which they want to scale up. They invested in an HR services company, createHR, and are looking at what can be done in adjacent spaces.
- Things are only getting started right in the real estate vertical. They are currently in the residential buy segment and plan to get into rentals and commercial real estate. Even in the residential buy segment, the plan is to break away from the rest of the pack and investment will be required in multiple areas, going forward.
- On the matrimony portal, Jeevansathi volumes have doubled or tripled in the last couple of years. There is still a long way to go as it is still the number three player.
- In all the verticals, investments will be made in the product development, branding, and innovation. A lot more strategic investing will be done in adjacent areas.
- They have invested in three education companies in the last year and are open to the idea of acquiring companies and doing more M&A in the categories they operate in. To be able to do these activities, the cash they currently have won’t be sufficient, hence the board has enabled QIP to raise more money.
- Capital raising is not something which is done every year, it is done maybe once in five to seven years. Hopefully, the capital raised will last for a couple of years. Info Edge has never done a large M&A but done a bunch of strategic investments. At the same time, to buy any company in the internet space, a lot of money is required. They do not want to risk all the money they have in the bank on an M&A. Should an opportunity arise to buy a distressed asset or something that will help gain market share, they want to be ready and that is why they are raising funds.
- About a year ago, Zomato was losing $ 40 million a month which was brought down to $ 20 million a month before Covid. April and May were bad for all companies, including Zomato and Swiggy. Due to Covid, the volumes have fallen and the business is down to about 50% levels. The crazy discounting, spend on customer acquisition which companies were doing is now over and companies are focusing on fixing their supply chains and other issues. As a result, Zomato which was losing ₹ 30-40 an order till some time back, is now making ₹ 30 an order.
- Zomato is now very comfortable on cash and has enough money in the bank to last them a couple of years. There are a lot of investors interested in investing in Zomato and talks with a few are going on right now.
- People not being able to go out and dine anymore like they used to, is probably a big opportunity for all the delivery companies. Since dining out can be very expensive, people were doing that maybe once or twice a month. For that kind of money, they can order in food maybe twice or thrice. Consumers do not want to just eat home food all the time and since going out to dine is unsafe, ordering in will therefore increase.
Consensus Estimate: (Source: market screener website)
- The closing price of Info Edge (India) was ₹ 2,899/- as of 14-July-2020. It traded at 112x/ 81x the consensus earnings estimate of ₹ 25.8/ 35.9 per share for FY21E/ FY22E respectively.
- The consensus target price of ₹ 2,557/- implies a PE multiple of 71x on FY22E EPS of ₹ 35.9/-.
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