Happiest minds

Expect attrition rate to get a little worse before improving – Happiest Minds Technologies

Update on Indian Equity Market:

On Monday, NIFTY ended at 17,397 (-1.07%). Among the sectoral indices, FMCG (+0.9%) was the only sector that ended higher, whereas Metal (-6.6%), PSU Bank (-4.2%), and Realty (-2.10%) ended lower. Among the stocks HUL (+2.9%), Bajaj Finserv (+1.1%), and ITC (+0.8%) led the gainers while Tata Steel (-10%), JSW Steel (-7.7%), and Hindalco (-6.1%) led the losers.

Excerpts of an interview with Mr. Venkatraman Narayanan (MD & CFO) and Mr. Joseph Anantharaju (Executive VC) with CNBC TV18 on 17th September 2021:

  • The demand scenario has only got better from where they are at the end of the first quarter. Things are looking very well for customer additions and the growth of existing customers. So, demand is looking good.
  • On the supply side they said, the supply situation is not as good, but they are managing to hold on with employee net additions of about 300 in the first quarter. They are trying to keep similar numbers for the next three to four quarters.
  • Most verticals that they are operating in seem to be showing strong demand growth with customers initiating or implementing digital transformation initiatives. A few of them should be a little ahead or having spent more, like edutech which continues to be strong for them. In high tech and retail they are seeing a good spend with the whole e-commerce move. They are seeing some initiatives in digital media as well.
  • They further said, in terms of technologies, the cloud is almost a done deal now. Most of their clients are operating on the cloud, and a lot of work is happening around leveraging artificial intelligence and analytics.
  • One thing they have noticed in the last few months is that more clients are looking at more automation. They have seen a strong uptick in automation as well, from a technology angle.
  • On attrition, they said things are going to get a little bit worse and then start improving. As there is always a slow build-up when it comes to attrition. People move out looking for new opportunities but the company keeps adding and backfilling the opened positions.
  • So demand was increasing but along with supply-side affected due to high attrition rate that’s why it is likely to get worse. The attrition rate was 15% in last quarter it will increase and then they will stabilise it over some time.
  • On margins, they said the sustainable margins should be in the range of about 22% to 24%.

 

Asset Multiplier Comments

  • The IT sector is witnessing a high attrition and there is a talent war among the competitors, which might affect the margins. The companies are trying to decrease the attrition rates which might help in margin expansion in the medium term.
  • Happiest Minds is seeing healthy demand and is targeting industry leading growth in the medium to long term.
  • The company also has a strong demand growth in verticals that they are operating.

Consensus Estimate: (Source: market screener website)

  • The closing price of Happiest Minds was ₹ 1,491/- as on 20-Sept-2021. It traded at 113x/ 90x/ 78x the consensus EPS estimate of ₹ 13.2/ ₹16.5/ ₹19.1 for FY22E/FY23E/FY24E respectively.
  • The consensus target price of ₹ 1,155/- implies a PE multiple of 60x on FY24E EPS of ₹19.1/-

 

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.”

Actively looking for acquisitions – Happiest Minds

Update on the Indian Equity Market:

On Monday, Nifty closed in the green at 15,315. Among the sectoral indices, Bank (+3.3%), Private Bank (+3.3%), and Financial Services (+2.9%) closed higher. Metal (-0.5%), IT (-0.4%) and Pharma (-0.3%) closed in the red. Axis Bank (+6.2%), ICICI Bank (+4.2%), and SBI (+4.0%) closed on a positive note. SBI Life (-2.3%), HDFC Life (-2.1%), and DR Reddy (-1.8%) were among the top losers.

Excerpts from an interview of Mr. Joseph Anantharaju, Executive Vice Chairman & CEO of Product Engineering Services, and Venkatraman Narayanan, MD and CFO, Happiest Minds with CNBC-TV18 dated 12th February 2021:

  • The company guided for a 20% revenue growth rate. The demand has panned out well.
  • The company won 6 new deal wins in 3QFY21.
  • Speaking about verticals, Mr. Joseph said edutech was doing well. The company received new requests and projects.
  • The industrial, B2B, and logistical space seem to be having new initiatives, which are leading to higher demand.
  • On operating margins, he said for the last 3 quarters the company is delivering margins in the range of 21-23%.
  • The company has guided for a profit margin of 22%-24% in FY22E.
  • On revenue growth, the company will maintain long term growth at 20%.
  • The company witnessed some efficiencies in the past 3 quarters, the plan is to retain some of those going forward.
  • The company recently completed an acquisition of PGS for 8.25 mn$. The company is actively looking for acquisitions.
  • On dividend, the company has not yet declared but the board will look after it.

 

Asset Multiplier comments:

  • The improvement in new deals signed and increased focus on IT budgets by clients has been mentioned by most of the IT Companies during the December quarter earnings call.
  • In 3QFY21, most of the IT companies have significantly expanded their operating margins, which was a result of continuing control on costs and improved sales.
  • It would be interesting to watch the performance of IT companies in the next couple of quarters, as companies have guided for lower margins but if cost control continues (led by on-off shore mix, WFH) then the margins might sustain these high levels.

 

Consensus Estimate: (Source: TIKR website)

  • The closing price of Happiest Minds was ₹ 401 as of 15-February-2021.  It traded at 36x/35.8x the consensus Earnings per share estimate of ₹ 11/11.2 for FY21E/FY22E/ respectively.
  • The consensus average target price is ₹ 385/- which implies a PE multiple of 34x on FY22E EPS of 11.2/-.

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.”

There will never be a threat of hostile takeover in Happiest Minds: Happiest Minds

Update on the Indian Equity Market:
On Friday, NIFTY closed in minor red at 11,505 (-0.1%). The top gainers in NIFTY50 were Dr Reddy (+9.9%), Cipla (+7.1%) and Adani Ports (+3.7%). The top losers were HDFC Bank (-2.3%), Shree Cement (-2.0%), and Bajaj FInserv (-1.8%). The top sectoral gainers were PHARMA (+4.9%), REALTY (+1.9%) and AUTO (+0.4%) and Top sectoral losers were PSU BANK (-1.6%), BANK (-1.3%), and FIN SERVICES (-1.2%)

Excerpts of an interview with Mr Ashok Soota, Chairman & Director, Happiest Minds with ET now dated 18th September 2020:
● He wanted to make a distinction between what is a broader IT services market and the digital part of the IT services market.
● They are born digital, born agile, 97% of their business comes from digital and the traditional IT market is growing much smaller and that is why they are able to grow at a faster rate — a compound of 20% plus as compared to about 8% to 10% for the larger IT players today.
● IT services business is growing, it is the entire market typically and slowdowns and recessions and more so in this one where everything is becoming virtual, IT will definitely grow faster within that. The transformation towards digital will also get accelerated.
● Their largest and fastest-growing vertical is edutech. How that is going to benefit from this environment because everything is becoming virtual.
● The other vertical in which they have got a very strong presence is the rest of the high tech world. Again because it is a core competence at Happiest Minds, two of them account for 76% of their business which has been only marginally or not impacted by the COVID crisis.
● The other 24% has been affected but fortunately, they have got a very marginal presence in travel and hospitality which is the worst impacted vertical and therefore they have to continue to build on the strengths that they have.
● When they began Happiest Minds, they were in what was called a SMACK pack which included analytics and cloud after that they have added over the years the internet of things, machine learning, virtual and augmented reality and so on.
● Going forward, I do not want to speculate on whether my shares will go up or go down if they raise more equity obviously, but there are no immediate plans to do so.
● Whatever happens, they will keep one thing in mind that there will never be a threat in the sense of ownership which could create a hostile acquisition situation.

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

● The closing price of Happiest Minds was ₹ 358/- as of 18-September-2020.
● Equity shares of Happiest Minds Technologies Ltd are listed effective from September 17, 2020. So we don’t have any consensus estimates.

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.”