Bajaj Auto

The rise in raw material cost may hit margins – Bajaj Auto

Update on the Indian Equity Market:

On Monday, Nifty closed in the red at 14,736 (-0.05%). Among the sectoral indices, Realty (+2.70%), FMCG (+1.70%), and IT (+1.85%) closed higher. PVT Bank (-1.70%), Bank (-1.63%), and Financial Services (-1.15%) closed in the red. Adani Ports (+5.17%), Britannia (+2.63%), and TCS (+2.58%) were the top gainers. Indusind Bank (-4.19%), Power Grid (-3.17%), and ICICI Bank (-2.20%) were among the top losers.

Excerpts from an interview of Mr Soumen Ray, CFO, Bajaj Auto with CNBC-TV18 dated 19th March 2021:

  • Speaking on the new dividend distribution policy, Mr Soumen Ray says, The Company will give up to 90% pay-out provided that the company has surplus funds in tune of Rs 150 bn or more.
  • He says, It also depends on Capex plans. The company is having surplus cash of Rs 180 bn.
  • The average annual Capex is around Rs2.5- 3bn and the company is using its assets effectively. The company is planning to put 1 factory in Chakan and cost is near $100mn.
  • The earlier policy was a 50% dividend pay-out.
  • On EV space, he says, The Company has strong EV plans but Capex required for EVs doesn’t need a large amount of money. It is important to sell the vehicle initially with lower profit and later scale-up that segment.
  • The EBITDA space of Bajaj Auto gives adequate ammunition to sell EV’s initially at not a great profit and later scale it up.
  • Speaking about raw material costs, he says, between Q4FY21E and 1QFY22E the industry will see a significant rise in raw material prices. This will lead to a hit on margins.
  • To avoid a dip in consumer sentiment the company will gradually increase its product prices.
  • Speaking on the Export market, he says, the demand continues to be healthy and INR has not depreciated as compared to other countries. The price of oil going up is positive for some African, and Latin American markets.
  • The container issue has improved from what it was in December 2020.
  • The company is giving discounts to some segments.

 

Asset Multiplier comments:

  • We believe the increase in dividend payout ratio will result in an effective capital allocation thereby improving the return of equity ratio (ROE).
  • We believe the gradual rise in product prices to offset higher raw material cost, high fuel prices, and rising cases of covid-19 might impact the near-term demand of 2 wheelers in the domestic market.

 

Consensus Estimate: (Source: Market screener website and Investing.com)

  • The closing price of Bajaj Auto was ₹ 3,667 as of 22-March-2021.  It traded at 23x/19x/17x the consensus Earnings per share estimate of ₹ 158/193/221 for FY21E/FY22E/FY23E respectively.
  • The consensus average target price is ₹ 3,976/- which implies a PE multiple of 18x on FY23E EPS of 221/-.

Expect 400,000 + volumes in March 2021– Bajaj Auto

Update on the Indian Equity Market:

 

On Tuesday, Nifty closed 1.1% higher at 14,919. Within NIFTY50, TATAMOTORS (+5.1%), M&M(+4.6%), and WIPRO(+4.5%) were the top gainers, while ONGC (-2.6%), HDFC(-1.2%), and DRREDDY (-1.1%) were the top losing stocks. Among the sectoral indices, AUTO (+3.2%), IT (+3.0%), and FMCG (+1.4%)were the top gainerswhile PSU BANK (-0.2%) was the only sector to end with losses.

 

Expect 400,000 + volumes in March 2021– Bajaj Auto

 

Excerpts of an interview with Mr. Rakesh Sharma, ED, Bajaj Auto, aired on CNBC-TV18 on 1st March 2021:

  • Bajaj Auto reported total wholesale volumes of 375,017 units for February 2021, a growth of 6% YoY. According to Mr. Sharma, there was a shortfall in the volumes due to several factors.
  • Domestic 2-wheeler retails were higher than wholesale as Bajaj Auto was deliberately clearing stock. February onward, Bajaj Auto has started to focus aggressively on the entry-level segment.
  • The 2nd big shortfall was in exports, as there was a big spill over due to shipping container schedule. Bajaj Auto also lost some volumes in premium segment in domestic as well as exports market.
  • As all the above factors go away, Mr. Sharma expects monthly volumes to again go beyond 400,000 units in March 2021.
  • A 4% hit from raw material inflation is expected in 4QFY21. Bajaj Auto’s response to this will be after a very careful view of the fragile demand recovery.
  • Sharma estimates that the domestic 2-wheeler industry retails had a YoY decline in February 2021.Bajaj Auto saw a YoY retail growth. But a decline in retail volumes is not a good sign for the industry.
  • Bajaj Auto has taken a price hike in 3QFY21, but that has not impacted the customers significantly. The strategy is to increase the prices and simultaneously improve the product proposition for the customer. Further hikes will have to be taken in fragments, and cannot be taken at once.
  • Bajaj Auto is seeing a steady increase in 3-wheeler sales which is an important segment for the company. This is the tipping point for Bajaj to reach out to the customer with innovative financing schemes.
  • As Bajaj Auto was gaining market share in above 125 cc segment, they were losing in the below 125 cc segment. To address this, Bajaj Auto has now taken some initiatives which will help them grow both the segments. But for the industry, the below 125 cc segment has suffered.

 

Asset Multiplier Comments:

  • For the month of February 2021, Hero Motocorp has reported domestic 2-wheeler wholesales of 484,433 units, a growth of 0.8% YoY. For the same period, TVS Motors has reported 195,145 units, a growth of 15% YoY. Against this, Bajaj Auto’ s domestic 2-wheeler segment reported 1% YoY growth.
  • For domestic 3-wheelers in February 2021, Bajaj Auto reported a 27% YoY decline in wholesales while TVS Motors reported a 24% YoY decline.
  • Sales in the 3-wheeler segment saw steeper declines since the covid-19 pandemic on account of lower mobility. Several banks and NBFCs had taken a very cautious approach to auto lending. As 3-wheelers are predominantly purchased through loans, low finance availability put a roadblock in 3-wheeler volume recovery.

 

Consensus Estimate (Source: investing. com and market screener websites)

  • The closing price of BAJAJ-AUTO was ₹ 3,950as of 2-March-2021. It traded at 25x/ 20x/ 18x the consensus EPS estimate of ₹ 158/193/221 for FY21E/ FY22E/ FY23E respectively.
  • The consensus target price of ₹ 3,950/- implies a PE multiple of 18x on FY23E EPS of ₹221/-.

 

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.”

 

Seeing a sharp fall in demand after Nov; will invest Rs 650 cr in a new plant at Chakan, says Bajaj Auto.

Update on the Indian Equity Market:
On Monday, Nifty ended 0.9% higher at 13,873 supported by the metal & financial stocks. The top gainers for Nifty 50 were JSW Steel (+5.8%), Tata Motors (+5.6%), and SBI (+3.3%) while the losing stocks for the day HUL (-0.5%), Sun Pharma (-0.5%), and Cipla (-0.4%). Top gaining sectors were PSU Bank (+2.7%), Realty (+2.6%), and Metal (+2.6%) while Pharma (-0.3%) was the only losing sector for the day.

Edited excerpts of an interview with Mr Rajiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Auto dated 24th December 2020 from CNBCTV18:

The demand in the auto sector is back to last year levels which are not a good sign. Mr Bajaj also sees a sharp fall in demand after November although he expects December 2020 sales to be slightly higher on YoY.
Things have panned out as Mr Bajaj thought they would which is that there has been a demand peak as is the case every year around the festive time.

According to him, what the company has recorded in October and November has been good because of the festive season. In December last year, the company did a total of 335,000 units roughly between domestic and exports. He thinks the Company will be a little ahead of that in December 2020.

According to him, on the domestic front, the Company will be on par with last year for motorcycles. The Company has almost doubled the EBITDA of the domestic motorcycle portfolio, which has been positive for them.

Bajaj Auto has a 90% market share in the three-wheeler market primarily in major metros.

In terms of exports, Mr Bajaj mentioned that the reason the overall numbers will be in-line with or a bit better than last year is that exports have been going like gangbusters. Demand seen is good.

On the product front, the Company has a huge task before them for the next 24 months which is
a) to renew their entire motorcycle portfolio especially on the premium brands,
b) There is a humongous amount of work to do on the EV front.

On the market front, Bajaj Auto has to continue to push to improve domestic share and having consistently now been at over 200,000 units exported every month their next goal has to be to move from 2 million exports to 3 million exports on an annual basis. For that, they need to successfully and effectively enter the Brazilian market.

Talking about the new manufacturing facility at Chakan, he said that the Company has signed up for a second plant in Chakan. The new plant was in the works for some time. This is for the expansion in premium motorcycles KTM Husqvarna, and the introduction of Triumph. Bajaj Auto may also expand the electric vehicle portfolio in the new facility.

The Company will be building this plant for a total capacity of a million units to start with. They have estimated an investment of about Rs 650 crore and perhaps the employment of a little over 2,000 people.
On the partnership front, the Company’s goal with KTM Husqvarna is to almost double the business soon.

In terms of production-linked incentive (PLI), Mr Bajaj said that it would be very beneficial to a company like Bajaj Auto. From the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS), the Company had a benefit of 2% on exports.

Consensus Estimate: (Source: market screener website)
The closing price of Bajaj Auto Ltd was ₹ 3,420/- as of 28-December-2020. It traded at 22.8x/ 18.8x/16.5x the consensus EPS estimate of ₹ 149/180/206 for FY21E/ FY22E/ FY23E respectively.
The consensus target price of ₹ 3,316/- implies a PE multiple of 16.1x on FY23E EPS of ₹ 206/.

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.”

Difficult to predict festive season sales – Bajaj Auto

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/-.

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.”

Premium brands witnessing a growth of 50% – Bajaj Auto

Update on the Indian Equity Market:
On Tuesday, NIFTY closed in minor red at 11,222 (-0.05%). Top gainers in NIFTY50 were Hindalco (+5.3%), ULTRACEMCO (+3.3%) and HERO MOTOCORP (+2.8%). The top losers were UPL (-3.5%), ONGC (-3.5%), and INDUSIND (-3.4%). Top sectoral gainers were METAL (+1.9%), AUTO (+0.3%), and IT (+0.2%) and sectoral losers were PSU BANKS (-2.2%), FMCG (-1.5%), and PVT BANK (-1.3%).

Excerpts of an interview with Mr. Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director – Bajaj Auto with CNBC -TV18 dated 28th September 2020:
● Bajaj Auto has partnered with KTM, Husqvarna and Triumph. So Bajaj Auto cannot engage with Harley due to these partnerships.
● Harley Davidson has decided to end India operations on account of low sales and a global rewire strategy. The company which sold over 58,000 units in North America in the first six months of this year has sold just over 25,000 units in India in a ten year period.
● Bajaj agreed that Harley could never really take off in India due to the high price point but said that Bajaj Auto’s partnership’s with KTM and Husqvarna show how brands like Harley can succeed in India.
● Bajaj Auto tied up with KTM in 2007 when the latter was selling 65,000 motorcycles a year and struggling and today KTM has surpassed Harley with a sale of three hundred thousand units a year.
● This year they should make close to two hundred thousand KTM’s & Husqvarna’s for global sales including India. These bikes between 125-400 cc are very competitively priced and KTM has distribution all over ASEAN and Latin America which KTM could not do before. This should be the goal of brands like Harley Davidson also.
● Distribution is about demand fulfilment and will not generate demand. If Harley is looking at making a 300-400cc motorcycle then they must get it absolutely right. The Street 750 did not succeed as it was considered a poor man’s Harley.
● Q2 is in line with July projections. Projected 1 mn motorcycle & 3W sales if supply chain supports. They can reach 2.5 mn in October if production supports. 3W sales are moving up too.
● Pulsar sales are expected to be at an all-time high of 2 lakh units in October. Exports have seen an all-time high in September-October.
● Premium segments like KTM, Dominar have seen close to 50% growth. KTM exports in the US, EU & Australia see 30-100% growth.
● They see no obvious evidence of a shift to COVID linked personal mobility pick up.
● They have re-engineered CT and Platina portfolio for a profitable share gain.
● Lockdown has destroyed Tier 1 & 2 suppliers. Tier 1 suppliers facing labour issues.
● Bajaj Auto can see sales of 4 lakh units in the month of September.

Consensus Estimate: (Source: market screener and investing.com websites)
● The closing price of Bajaj Auto was ₹ 2,901/- as of 29th September 2020. It traded at 19x/ 16x/ 14x the consensus earnings estimate of ₹ 149/ 179/203 for FY21E/22E/23E respectively.
● The consensus price target is ₹ 3,010/- which trades at 15x the earnings estimate for FY23E of ₹ 203/-
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.”

Resurgence of demand across India, exports to take a little longer – Bajaj Auto

Update on the Indian Equity Market:

On Friday, the Indian market ended higher, making it the third straight week to end with gains. The Indian government’s approval of the acquisition of missiles, ammunition, and weapon systems worth Rs 38,900 crores led to the rally in defense stocks’ shares. Nifty ended 0.5% higher at 10,607. EICHERMOT (+4.2%), ADANIPORTS (4.1%), and BHARTIARTL (+4.1%) were the top gainers, while JSWSTEEL (-1.8%), TATASTEEL (-1.8%), and INDUSINDBK (-1.5%) were the top losers. Among the sectoral indices, IT (+1.1%), REALTY (+1.0%) and AUTO (+0.9%) ended in the green, while PSU BANK (-0.9%), PRIVATE BANK (-0.5%) and BANK (-0.5%) ended in the red.

Mr. Rakesh Sharma, Director, Bajaj Auto discussed the June auto sales data with CNBC TV18 on July 2nd, 2020. Here are the edited excerpts of the interview:

  • A lot of pent-up demand was witnessed in the past month wherever the dealer network was opening up.
  • In the last couple of weeks, they have noticed even spread of resurgence in demand. Initially, it was thought to be a semi-urban, and rural area phenomenon. Now, it is the urban areas that are responding and coming back extremely well.
  • There is optimism in the rural areas driven by the agricultural sector. In the urban areas, there is a revaluation of the mode of transport and a lot of the urban areas are driven by the need to adopt a safer mode of transport. In the last 10-15 days, demand has returned on both, the urban and rural sectors. Bajaj Auto is hopeful that this will continue into the next quarter.
  • Talking about production, he said there was a little bit of turbulence towards the end of June. Otherwise, production including their vendors and plants is completely geared up. In the niche areas of high-end bikes and electric scooters, their response rate was lower. Overall, they have responded to 90-95 percent of the market demand.
  • Had the logistical disturbances not existed in the last days of June, they could have catered to about 100 percent of the demand, except for the niche products.
  • The June story is a ramp-up story of the vendors, of the plant and of the dealers. Bajaj Auto has been able to increase their market share and share of exports. It can be said the June story is not so much of the demand coming up but the supply side coming up to speed to a very different situation.
  • Taking into consideration the fact that more Covid cases could break out, in the dealerships, and at the back end, Bajaj Auto is much better prepared and would not face any restraining issue going forward.
  • At the Aurangabad pant, there have been 40 cases and 3 casualties and there is no escalation. There is a constant effort for testing and contact testing. Production had gone way down to ensure rigorous contact testing, reporting, and sanitization. Now, production is back to normal, people are reporting to work.
  • Moving to exports, Africa has come back well and running at about 80 percent levels. ASEAN is slightly behind, at about 65 – 70 percent. Latin America is a bit of a concern as the recovery is only at 50 percent level. From shipment point, the return to normalcy will most likely be by August or September, as in transit stocks in exports are much higher and have to be calibrated with the low demand of the first quarter. Now that calibration is continuing to occur and is expected to be completed by August and expect to see some kind of normalcy in shipments coming back.

Consensus Estimate: (Source: market screener and investing.com websites)

  • The closing price of Bajaj Auto was ₹ 2,935 on 03-07-2020. It traded at 20x/ 17x/ 15x the consensus EPS estimate of ₹ 147/175/198 for FY21E/ FY22E/ FY23E respectively.
  • The consensus target price of ₹ 2,774/- implies a PE multiple of 14x on FY23E EPS of ₹ 198/-.

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.”

 

Will resume operations at plants only when dealerships open up – Rajiv Bajaj, Bajaj Auto

Update on the Indian Equity Market:

On Monday, NIFTY closed in red at 9,292 (-5.7%). Top gainers in NIFTY50 were Cipla (+3.7%), Bharti Airtel (+3.3%) and Sun Pharma (+0.3%). The top losers were Hindalco (-10.7%), ICICI Bank (-10.6%) and VEDL (-10.4%). Top sectoral gainer was PHARMA (+0.4%) and sectoral losers were PVT BANKS -8.6%), FIN SERVICES (-8.4%) and BANKS (-8.3%).

Excerpts of an interview with Mr. Rajiv Bajaj, managing director – Bajaj Auto with CNBC -TV18 dated 29th April 2020:

  • He expects the two-wheeler manufacturer to operate at about 50 percent capacity next month.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday told states that India has to work on restarting the economy as well as continue the fight against COVID-19. Several states are keen to extend the lockdown in hotspots.
  • In the last one week itself they have seen some positive developments, specifically their Pantnagar plant has been given approval progressively to operate at full capacity, which they cannot till their dealerships open up.
  • They have that approval on the supply side. Progressively they are getting the same approval for their Aurangabad plant.
  • The Chakan plant outside Pune has not received a nod for production, which is unfortunate as that is the company’s main export plant. On 28th April, they received permission to shift goods from there.
  • He said, “In the month of April, fortunately because we do export, we will see sales of something like 30,000-35,000 numbers. In May, we are looking at operating at about 50 percent of capacity across all our plants put together which points to about 200,000 vehicles. Again the majority would be for exports.
  • In June, we are hoping – subject to how things are unlocked – to record something in excess of 250,000 vehicles, which means we are about our two-third capacity. So from this point of view, it is not so bad for us but that is again because half of what we make is exported,”he added.
  • They have already implemented almost all of the cost cutting measures. It will save them somewhere between Rs 150 crore and Rs 200 crore this year.
  • What they have continued to clearly communicate to people is that there are no plans to cut jobs and they are not going to cut jobs at this stage.
  • He said, “I would make only one recommendation which is we cannot save ourselves out of this crisis. We have to sail ourselves out of this crisis. If the government cannot reduce goods and services tax (GST), there are other suggestions I had made with respect to the insurance, with respect to the absurd safety norms that were brought in last year. If those things are corrected at the front end and there is some liquidity brought in the NBFCs etc, the demand side will be fine.”

Consensus Estimate: (Source: market screener and investing.com websites)

  • The closing price of Bajaj Auto Ltd was ₹ 2,433/- as of 4-May-2020.  It traded at 14x/ 15x/ 13x the consensus earnings estimate of ₹ 169/ 163 / 185 for FY20E/21E/22E respectively.
  • The consensus price target of Bajaj Auto Ltd is ₹ 2,998/- which trades at 16x the earning estimate for FY22E of ₹ 185/-.

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.”

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 investing.com 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/-.

Expect BS-VI transition costs to hit demand; outlook for April-June quarter weak, says Rakesh Sharma, Bajaj Auto

Update on the Indian Equity Market:

On Tuesday, Sensex ended up 479 pts up and Nifty above 11,300 level partly led by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) comment that it was ready to take appropriate actions to ensure orderly functioning of financial markets and preserve financial stability.

NIFTY Metal (+5.6%), NIFTY Pharma (+5.1%) and NIFTY Media (+3.3%) were the top-performing sectors. None of the sectors ended in the negative. Among the stocks, Vedanta (+8.3%), Sun Pharma (+7.2%), and Hindalco (+6.9%) were the top gainers. ITC (-0.6%) and Yes Bank (-0.5%) were the only stocks in the red at market close.

Expect BS-VI transition costs to hit demand; outlook for April-June quarter weak, says Rakesh Sharma, Bajaj Auto

Combination of a weak economic backdrop combined with added costs due to transition to BS-VI from BS-IV makes the outlook for April-June quarter quite weak for domestic business, is the word coming in from Rakesh Sharma, Executive Director, Bajaj Auto.

Edited excerpts of an interview with Mr. Rakesh Sharma, Executive Director, Bajaj Auto; dated 2nd March 2020:

When asked about the outlook for the next 2 months, Mr. Sharma stated that the underlying economic situation remains the same, which is a high single-digit decline in the retail industry and there are issues of transition from BS-IV to BS-VI, which will add costs April onwards. So, the combination of a weak economic backdrop combined with added costs makes the outlook for April-June quarter quite weak for domestic business.
He commented that exports have had an outstanding run. Bajaj Auto had the highest ever quarter in Q3. It had the highest ever sales in January with strong growth of 15% in February. He also informed that there is an Egypt issue, which is going to be finally brought to rest in April because last year it was in April when Egypt went down. So, without Egypt there has been good strong single-digit growth in the commercial vehicle (CV) business.
Speaking about Coronavirus he said that they are watchful about the impact of coronavirus as yet there is no impact in their markets. However, some disruption in Chinese supply chains of motorcycles will definitely be an area of opportunity for a company like Bajaj Auto, who commands 35% market share in Africa. Therefore, he expects the export performance to continue January and February the way it has been doing in Q3.
When asked about the auto component supply disruption due to coronavirus hitting the production of their peers like TVS and Hero Motocorp by 10% he said that they are impacted by less than 5%. They have taken steps of airlifting critical components although slightly expensive.
He informed that electric scooter had some sourcing from Wuhan itself, so that has got affected but other than that it’s a manageable situation for Bajaj Auto. If the trajectory of supply chain improvement continues as it is occurring in China, then he doesn’t see a disruption of production in April-May also.
He commented on BSIV to BSVI evolution and said that BS-IV stocks are under control. In fact, for motorcycles, there is about 20 days of sale taking February as sale and in others like commercial vehicles they are 11-12 days of sales. The company is going through an odd period where the company is running down the BS-IV and not yet being able to fully ramp-up the BS-VI. The ramp-up is expected to start to occur in March.
When asked about the price increase on account of BS-VI he said that the price increase is between Rs 6,000 and Rs 10,000 depending on the model. The 150cc plus model, fuel injection system is used the price increase is up to Rs 10,000. So the cost increase is between 6-10%.
He stated that when there was BS-III to BS-IV transition, the economic backdrop was that of growth. The major difference this time is that the economic backdrop is not very supportive and the demand will get impacted due to the price increase. He expects it will be 10-15% decline in April to August period and hopefully, when festivities kick in, they will serve as a trigger to reverse the down cycle.
When asked about the outlook for FY21E volume, he said that the second half will not be able to compensate for the double-digit decline of the first half and might end up even-stevens or slightly negative for the industry in the whole year.

Consensus Estimate: (Source: market screener, investing.com website)

The closing price of Bajaj Auto was ₹ 2,792/- as of 3-March-20. It traded at 16x/ 15x/ 14x the consensus EPS for FY20E/ FY21E/ FY22E of ₹ 173/184/205 respectively.
Consensus target price of ₹ 3,280/- implies a PE multiple of 16x on FY22E EPS of ₹ 205/-.

‘Business to Lagos has not been impacted and there’s no reason to be circumspect’- Mr. Rakesh Sharma, executive director, Bajaj Auto

Update on the Indian Equity Market:

On Wednesday, NIFTY closed positive (+0.9%) at 12,090. NIFTY50 led by TATAMOTORS (+10.7%), YESBANK (+8.6%) and TATASTEEL (+5.8%). ZEEL (-6.4%), HEROMOTOCO (-3.6%) and DRREDDY (-3.1%) were the top NIFTY losers. METAL (+3.1%), REALTY (+2.2%) and FIN SERVICE (+1.4%) were the top gaining sectors. MEDIA (-0.8%) was the only sector that ended negatively.

Excerpts from an interview with Mr. Rakesh Sharma, Executive Director, Bajaj Auto published on Livemint on 5th February 2020:

  • There has been a ban on the movement of two-wheelers and three-wheelers on certain roads in Lagos city for quite some time. There has been a law that says two-wheelers and three-wheelers cannot ply within Lagos city on these roads.
  • What has happened now is that there has been a restatement of this law and thereafter more rigorous enforcement because of congestion which they are experiencing and that is what has triggered this spate of news.
  • There are some 400 roads and by lanes within the Lagos city which had been identified quite a few years ago, maybe a couple of years ago. So they are just enforcing those things that these vehicles are not permitted.
  • Nigeria is a large country and motorcycles in Lagos city is probably only 6-7% of their business. Similarly, three-wheelers is also about 10% of their business so it is really not a very significant event as of now.
  • One can run a motorcycle on a commercial basis in certain areas, but what happens is it becomes more inconvenient as suddenly if you have to go from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ and in middle there is a road where it is not allowed, it becomes a problem.
  • Total two wheeler exports to Nigeria are less than 30% of their exports, in the magnitude of 25% or so.
  • As things stand now, they are not anticipating any major impact. In international business, this kind of things happens all the time.
  • Bangladesh did it last year when they did not permit the three-wheelers so these things sort of cancel each other. So it is not a significant event from their perspective- not for Nigeria and not for the international business.
  • It is difficult to imagine that this kind of thing suddenly becoming an epidemic across Nigeria. So according to him, they will wait and watch.
  • At this stage, it is not even a setback. It is temporary irritation and he said he would not classify this as a setback. They encounter these things all the time in emerging markets. It does not really make them sit up and sweat.

Consensus Estimate: (Source: market screener website)

  • The closing price of Bajaj Auto was ₹ 3,158/- as on 5-February-2020. It traded at 18x/ 17x/ 15x the consensus earnings estimate of ₹ 174 /183 /204 for FY20E/ FY21E/ FY22E respectively.
  • Consensus target price is ₹ 3,226/- which implies a PE multiple of 16x on FY22E EPS of ₹ 204/-