Update on the Indian Equity Market:
On Wednesday, Nifty ended 1.2% higher at 10,430. The top gainers for Nifty 50 were Axis Bank (+6.3%), UPL (+5.3%), and Bajaj Finserv (+5.2%) while the losing stocks were NTPC (-2.1%), Nestle (-2.1%) and LT (-2.0%). Sectoral gainers for the day were PSU Bank (+3.6%), Bank (+2.8%) and Financial Services (+2.7%) while the losers were Pharma (-1.0%), Realty (-0.7%) and IT (-0.2%).
Edited excerpts of an interview with Mr TV Narendran, CEO & MD, Tata Steel Ltd; dated 30th June 2020 from Economic Times:
- The Company had tough six-seven months of the financial year starting from April last year till maybe October or November. Things started looking up after November. The demand started picking up. January to June is a peak season for steel consumption in India. So the steel demand was picking up. Apart from the auto industry, other industries were looking better and the steel prices were moving up. The Company started sensing things were going wrong because of the pandemic. It impacted them in Europe in February and they knew it was going to come to India as well. Tata Steel started taking some precautions by the end of February in India.
- Prices in India were static because there were no sales but the fact that inventories were building up meant that all Indian producers were trying to export. So the export markets were crowded with Indian suppliers towards the end of March and early April.
- By the end of April, China started pulling in quite strongly so a lot of steel exports started going to China. The Company saw a recovery of the international markets starting in April.
- Between April, May, and June, steel prices have gone up by about $50 a tonne. The fact that Indian steel producers could export and had an export option, kept the domestic prices quite stable.
- There was some pricing pressure because the prices have been trending upwards till March. There were some price corrections in May when the transaction started but the international prices were quite strong.
- Consumption growth was seen in sectors which are linked to the rural economy.
- In the automotive business, the tractors business has been reasonably strong. Motorcycles have been stronger than scooters because they are both dependent on the rural economy.
- Rural infrastructure spending by the government has been positive. Tata Steel sells a lot of steel i.e., about 20% of their revenues, to the rural economy. The roofing sheets and reinforcing steel for the individual house builders segments are panning out strong.
- The non-tractor and non-motorcycle automotive commercial vehicle, passenger vehicles are still quite a weak sector. There is some sign of improvement. Any improvement is only going to get them back to where they were last year and not where they were a year before last. So, it is a long haul back for them, according to Mr Narendran.
- Tata Steel saw an EBITDA improvement in Kalinganagar and Jamshedpur of about Rs 2,000-2,500 a tonne Quarter on Quarter (QoQ) which was on the back of cost takeout and price hikes. Tata Steel would have sold at least half a billion tonnes more had there been no lockdown. This would have helped them in cost as well as realisations. They have lost half a billion tonne of March sales which was at the highest price.
Consensus Estimate: (Source: market screener website)
- The closing price of Tata Steel Ltd was ₹ 324/- as of 01-July-2020. It traded at 6.8x the consensus EPS estimate of ₹ 47.8 for FY22E.
- The consensus target price of ₹ 376/- implies a PE multiple of 7.9x on FY22E EPS of ₹ 47.8/-.
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