Tag - Pandemic

Targeting Sputnik V import by June; to be priced at $10 – Dr Reddy’s Lab

Update on the Indian Equity Market:

On Thursday, the Nifty index ended with gains of 0.8% at 14,406 levels led by Metals and Financials. Within NIFTY50, WIPRO (+3.5%), ICICIBANK (+3.45%), and TATASTEEL (+3.2%) were the top gainers, while SHREECEM (-2.8%), TITAN(-2.7%), and TATACONSUM (-1.9%) were the top losing stocks. Among the sectoral indices, FMCG (-0.7%), PHARMA (-0.4%) and IT (-0.2%) were the losers, and BANK (+2.2%), FINSERVICE (+2.1%) AND MEDIA (+1.9%) were the top gainers.

Targeting May end or early June for Sputnik V import; vaccine to be priced at $10, says Dr Reddy’s Lab

Excerpts of an interview with Mr. G V Prasad, Co Chairman and Managing Director, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL), aired on CNBC-TV18 dated on 20th April 2021:

  • V Prasad, Co-Chairman and MD at Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL), on Tuesday, said that the target for the import of Sputnik V vaccine, against COVID-19, is May end or early June.
  • DRL is doing its best to accelerate the import and expects to get products launched in Q1FY22E. The cold chain and logistics are in place as they talk to the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to accelerate the shipments.
  • He also mentioned that the launch of the India-made Sputnik V vaccine is likely to be in the Q2FY22E. Each manufacturer is in a different stage of the manufacturing process. But he hopes that in Q2 India will have Indian manufactured vaccine available at least from one-two players. So, overall Q2 should see the launch of the Indian vaccine.
  • Prasad clarified the pricing on the vaccine and said it would be uniform across the globe. He added that starting with the imported vaccine, the Russian organization has a uniform price of US $10 across the world. So, when it comes in, it will be priced at the same price that this product is offered anywhere else in the world.
  • The Pharma companies manufacturing the vaccines along with the government will have to come up with a price, which he hopes to be less than the imported price. He assured that the companies will not make profit out of this vaccine and expects the vaccine price not to be higher than US$10. 2 doses of vaccines are required and Mr. Prasad doesn’t think price would be an issue and people are willing to pay this price and don’t need to be subsidized.
  • Meanwhile, he welcomed the government’s announcement of liberalized and accelerated Phase 3 strategy of COVID-19 vaccination from May 1. The government said that anyone above 18 years of age will be eligible for vaccination from May 1. This announcement was a very major move by the government which will improve availability, by decentralizing the whole process, the logistics will be much better and it will be market-driven. So, he is optimistic about the way forward.
  • He believed that the private sector can now fully participate in the vaccine drive now and India will see a rise in availability. A rise in private organizations setting up vaccination centers will be seen and the imported vaccine will immediately relieve some pressure. People will also have the choice to get vaccinated with their choice of vaccines.
  • Last, he noted that there will not be any shortage of Remdesivir in the coming weeks. He said that Favipiravir is still available as it is not in much demand. He thinks there has been a significant overuse of Remdesivir. There is a gap in the market as the shortage was sudden and DRL is doing its best to improve the supply of Remdesivir and from next week onwards, they will have a good number of supplies for this product.
  • On April 5, the RDIF and drug firm Panacea Biotec had said that they had agreed to produce 100 million doses per year of Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine in India.
  • The efficacy of Sputnik V is 91.6 percent as confirmed by the data published in the leading medical journal, Lancet. It has been registered in 59 countries globally, the statement said. The price of Sputnik V is US $10 per shot, it added.

Asset Multiplier Comments

  • Although DRL denied to comment on the profit margins expected from the vaccine and said they are not here to make profits out of this situation we feel that Pharma sector as a whole will see a high single digit or low double-digit growth in FY22E led by covid’s second wave related opportunities.
  • The increasing cases and lockdowns in major states in India will impact the market sentiment. The investors will rush back to the defensives and Pharma sector being one of them is likely to benefit.

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

  • The closing price of DRREDDY was ₹ 5,200 as of 22-April-2021. It traded at 26x/ 22x the consensus EPS estimate of ₹ 196/233 for FY22E/ FY23E respectively.
  • The consensus target price of ₹ 5,491/- implies a PE multiple of 23x on FY23E EPS of ₹233/-.


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.”


Infra development imperative to revive economic activity – L&T

Update on the Indian Equity Market:
On Tuesday, NIFTY was up by 82 pts (+0.7%) at 11,521.
Among the sectoral indices, REALTY (-0.7%), MEDIA (-0.42%), and FMCG (-0.2%) were the top losers and PHARMA (+1.9%), PVT BANK (+1.9%), and BANK (+1.7%) were the top gainers.
Among the stocks, INDUSINDBNK (+4.7%), CIPLA (+2.9%), and UPL (+2.8%) were the top gainers. TITAN (-1.4%), MARUTI (-1.1%), and HDFCLIFE (-0.9%) were the top losers.

Infra development imperative to revive economic activity – L&T

Edited excerpts of an interview with Mr. S.N. Subrahmanyan, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Larsen & Toubro Ltd with The Hindu dated 12th September 2020:

Engineering conglomerate Larsen & Toubro Ltd. (L&T) recently completed divestment of its electrical and automation (E&A) business to Schneider Electric for ₹14,000 Crs. The company is also planning to divest or dilute certain concession businesses as part of the strategic review of its business portfolio, said CEO and MD S.N. Subrahmanyan.

• When asked about the next move after divesting in E&A he informed that they keep conducting a strategic review of our business portfolio from time to time and take a call on the basis of consistent, long-term planning process. As per this, they may divest or dilute certain concession businesses such as L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) and Nabha Power Ltd.
• When asked about the plans for E&A sale proceeds, he stated that they are in middle of an unprecedented pandemic which has caused considerable uncertainty to business during the past five months. In such times, it is necessary to strengthen the balance sheet and stay adequately liquid. Accordingly, the sale proceeds will be utilised partly for deleveraging the consolidated debt and also to strengthen the liquidity buffer warranted by the current economic environment. As business conditions improve post-COVID-19, some of the equity unlocked by the divestment will also be invested for growing the business at the group level. A certain part will also be used to reward the stakeholders.
• His comments on business operations coming back to normal: As the country unlocks, means of transport open, supply chains resume and labor returns, operations at about 90% of project sites and all manufacturing facilities have resumed and are gradually moving into normality. They remain positive.
• When asked about the workers coming back to work, he commented that Pre-pandemic, they had around 2.7 lakh labourers on rolls. This came down to 70,000 by end-May when the lockdown was lifted. Most of the labourers and workers went back to their villages and towns. But, L&T have all the reasons to be positive now as about 2.2 lakh are back on rolls and most of the sites are back to more or less normality. The amount of steel and cement L&T is purchasing is going up and that indicates better progress.
• His comments on getting new business: Infrastructure development is imperative to revive economic activity, create employment and infuse more liquidity into the system. Additionally, funded projects by the World Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency and Asian Development Bank, among others, should start moving faster. L&T, therefore, is optimistic that sectors such as hospitals, power transmission and distribution, water, railways, roads, renewable energy and defence will start showing greater traction.
• When asked how is L&T readying for the fourth industrial revolution i.e. Digital, he said that over the last few years, L&T has deliberately and slowly enhanced its technology footprint and is charting a course in recent years that will see its technology portfolio increase its contribution vis-a-vis its traditional businesses. In FY15, the world was seeing a tectonic shift with digital technologies. These emerging technologies were creating new processes, new business models and entirely new businesses. Digitalisation and digital transformation were sweeping the business world. L&T was seeing and experiencing this first-hand from the clients of IT services companies.
• He further added that L&T saw the opportunity of digital as twofold. First, to digitally transform its own operations and use these new technologies to get better at what it was already doing well; and second, to look at digital as a new business opportunity that could shape its future portfolio. L&T started doing both and it acted swiftly with determination.

Consensus Estimate: (Source: market screener website)

• The closing price of L&T was ₹ 915/- as of 15-Sep-2020. It traded at 28x/24x/21x the consensus EPS estimate of ₹ 95.8/111/127 per share for FY21E/ FY22E/ FY23E respectively.
• The consensus target price of ₹ 2467/- implies a PE multiple of 19.4x on FY23E EPS of ₹ 127/-

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.”

Pandemic has impacted all layers of FMCG – Nestlé

Update on the Indian Equity Market:
On Wednesday, NIFTY ended up 77 pts (+0.7%) at 11,550.
Among the sectoral indices, MEDIA (+2.5%), AUTO (+1.5%) and PVT BANK (+1.8%) were the top gainers while FMCG (-0.2%) and PHARMA (-0.1%) were the losers.
Among the stocks, TATAMOTORS (+8.8%), HEROMOTOCO (+6.4%), and INDUSINDBK (+6.0%) were the top gainers. BHARTIARTL (-2.9%), ULTRACEMCO (-2.2%), and ASIANPAINT (-1.4%) were the top losers.

Pandemic has impacted all layers of FMCG – Nestlé

Edited excerpts of an interview with Mr. Suresh Narayanan, MD & CEO of Nestle with Mint dated 25th August 2020:

• Food companies with a strong digital-first capability are the ones that are going to hold consumers’ interest for a long time, Nestlé boss Suresh Narayanan said.
• His comments on consumer sentiment and mobility:
o Covid-19 is not just a health challenge, it is also a humanitarian call to redefine the way humans live, engage and work innovatively.
o Companies that are better placed to react to the new normal will naturally be preferred more by consumers.
o Food companies need to leverage their in-depth knowledge of food habits, nutrition, quality and safety in order to innovate and renovate, and adapt to this new normal.
o They need to respond to new demands, reset defining relationships with consumers and reconsider their product portfolio in the post-covid era to make products healthier, while allowing consumers to make an indulgent choice.
• His outlook for the Indian economy in the short and medium term: India’s economy is showing signs of recovery after withstanding the impact of covid-19. Some sectors were impacted more than others. With easing of restrictions on economic activities, businesses are slowly getting back on track. The government announced several measures to ensure business continuity and sectoral revival.
• When asked what other measures government should take to drive demand, he replied that the government has taken measures to increase liquidity and is hopeful that it will help the economic climate and push up demand. MGNREGA inputs have maintained an income source for a large number of people in rural areas and helped maintain demand. A good monsoon also helps. While we do see a push up in rural demand, as the economy starts opening up, it should create jobs and help build up urban demand as well. A strong focus on infrastructure development will revive the job sector as well as demand.
• Nestlé has witnessed better growth in Tier 2, 3 and 4 cities, semi-urban areas than urban areas during the lockdown. Rural consumption continues to be stronger than urban demand.
• Strong performance was delivered in the e-commerce channel. The demand in all out-of-home consumption channels experienced a sharp decline due to the lockdown. However, Nestlé brands enjoy trust, credibility and strength as far as in-home consumption is concerned. This boosted sales of dairy whitener, milk and coffee, all of which performed well. Maggi witnessed solid growth towards the end of the quarter after initial supply constraints.
• When asked whether consumer preferences will change when things will go normal, he stated that Covid-19 has had a profound impact on the pace, channel, texture and frequency of consumption, across a variety of segments in FMCG. There is a redefinition of out-of-home consumption in favor of brands and formats that are more in-home.
• Channel contexts have undergone sharp changes with a surge in e-commerce. Nestlé witnessed contribution of e-commerce going up significantly, while out-of home has not done well. If you look at e-commerce channels in the US, what took eight years in terms of penetration was achieved in eight weeks. Clearly the e-commerce journey is here to stay and there will be recalibration of channels.
• Quality, safety, nutrition and trust have undergone sharper re-definition and consumers tend to favor tried-and-tested brands and relationships formed herein. A new word has been added to the lexicon of consumer needs, which is “immunity” for self and the family. Categories that are in favor have changed and, together with the economic pandemic that followed Covid-19, a recalibration of the consumer wallets is taking place where essentials are taking precedence over luxuries, however affordable they are.
• When asked how Nestle has prepared to adapt to this change, he commented that their entire innovation funnel is undergoing a change. Every business is recalibrating in the context of newly relevant consumer behaviors that are coming in, that is, what innovations we should go with, what innovation should be left out.
• He is a great believer that in a crisis, one should engage, not disengage. If we disengage, then the consumer has other choices. Going forward, consumers are going to be more digitally active than they were earlier, and food companies with a strong digital-first capability are the ones that are going to hold consumers’ interest for a long time. Overall, Nestlé have accelerated digital engagements across key parts of our portfolio and put out innovative digital campaigns to engage with consumers.

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

• The closing price of Nestle India was ₹ 16,202/- as of 26-Aug-2020. It traded at 71x/51x/62x the consensus EPS estimate of ₹ 228/269/311 per share for FY21E/ FY22E/ FY23E respectively.
• The consensus target price of ₹ 16,758/- implies a PE multiple of 54x on FY23E EPS of ₹ 311/-

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.”