Axis Bank stock has recently corrected by ~10% in past two months which we believe factors in near term concerns. The bank now trades at ~2.1x times FY21E book value which we believe is reasonable.Amidst a weak competitive landscape, Axis bank is well positioned tobenefit from the available opportunities. Its improving fundamentalsmake it a probable candidate for potential re-rating, since its valuationsoffer significant headroom as compared to other peers in private banking space. Its robust franchise, adequate capitalization, and de-risking bookmake it attractive franchise, and the recent price correction make the risk-reward favorable. We maintain our BUY rating with an unchanged Price target of Rs 860.
The bank’s resilient growth trajectory along with the focus on asset quality metrics, strengthening of balance sheet and healthy margins will be the key going forward. Hence, we retain our HOLD rating on the stock with an upward revised target price of Rs. 717 based on 2.1x FY21E BVPS.
Operating performance of the bank remained strong but asset quality continued showing some sign of stress. However, Banks prudent provisioning and disclosures outside the ‘BB & below’ pool led to increase in credit cost. Management has maintained its RoE guidance of 18% over the medium term. Any material improvement in return ratios will be a lay to rollout in stock performance. We cut our FY20 PAT estimates by 11% and expect RoE to be 14% for FY21E, factoring in higher provisioning and increase in credit cost. We have valued the stock at the P/ABV of 2.5x to its FY21E and arrived at a fair value of Rs 712 per share giving an upside of 7%. At CMP of Rs 669 the stock is available at its FY21E P/ABV of 2.3(x). We have a ‘Hold’ rating on the stock.
Axis Bank currently trades at 2x its FY2021E price to book value (after adjusting value of subsidiaries). We expect the stock to get re-rated owing to (1) new leadership, (2) limited stressed loan pool, and (3) improvement in return ratios (ROA/ROE – 1.22%/14.2% by FY2021E). We recommend Buy on the stock with a Target Price of 850.
We have revised our NII estimates by -0.9%/-1.6%, PPOP estimates by -1.8%/0.6% and PAT estimates by -2.5%/-0.2%, for FY20/FY21, respectively. We have retained Accumulate rating on ABL, revising our target price to Rs786 (from Rs806 earlier), valuing the stock at 2x FY21E standalone P/BV, and ascribing a value of Rs 36 to the subsidiaries.
With the worst long behind AXSB (in terms of asset quality), the near term forewarning is not too disconcerting. As our earnings have consistently, and conservatively lagged consensus, they dip merely 3/4% for FY20/21E to factor in higher provisions. Numerous strategic changes, give us confidence on the bank’s ability to face macro headwinds and thus stay put on its long term trajectory. In line operating performance and higher provisions resulted in a PAT miss. In spite of higher slippage guidance, our already conservative earnings haven’t suffered much. MAINTAIN BUY with a TP of Rs 900 (2.8x Jun-21E ABV of Rs 311+ Rs 27 for subs).
We believe these disclosures are likely to delay the RoE expansion cycle for the bank, as probability of credit costs rises for FY20E. We thus raise our credit cost estimates for FY20E/FY21E, building in higher provision trajectory. While we maintain our BUY rating on the stock, we revise our Price Target to Rs 860.
AXSB has delivered a modest quarter in a challenging economic environment. We cut our FY20/21 earnings estimates by 7%/6% to factor in the slight increase in our credit cost. Post a strong performance of last couple of quarters, Q1 earnings and outlook reflect the deterioration in the underlying lending environment, which can further risks our estimates. Core operating profitability is getting good, helping to mitigate some credit cost pressures. Improvement in RoA / RoE matrix will be a key to sustain the stock’s performance. Buy with a target price of INR825 (2.5x FY21E ABV).
The long term focus continues to remain on offering loans with higher risk weighted return. The remaining | 7000 crore of exposure to stressed names still standard to keep credit cost higher in FY20E. Accordingly, we cut our PAT & advances growth estimates by ~19% & 2.3%, respectively, for FY20E.However, we remain positive on management’s effort to build a sustainable franchise. We value subsidiaries at | 35 per share, post 20% holding discount. Factoring capital raising and subsequent dilution in return ratios, we cut down our target multiple from 2.9x earlier to 2.4x. Accordingly, we revise our target price to Rs 850 (earlier Rs 880) and maintain our BUY rating.
Axis bank’s earnings came in lower than estimates at Rs13.7bn (PLe: Rs18.6bn) despite better other income and strong opex gains which were offset by higher contingency provisions and slightly slower NII. Bank gave out new & additional disclosure on stress book outside the BB & Below which were Rs71.0bn (adjusted for already in below BB & NPA) which is another 1.3% of assets taking overall stress close to 3.0%. Although, bank has been making additional provisions (Rs23bn of contingent provisions) over and above and maintaining PCR at 62%. Risks have increased to asset quality and so has credit cost assumptions (interest reversals with that) making it quite tougher for bank to reach the desired targeted ROEs of 15/18% by FY21/FY22. We retain our cautious stance with ACCUMULATE rating though post recent correction valuations have come into desirable zone but still higher than some other peer banks. We revise our TP to Rs766 (from Rs837) based on 2.4x (from 2.6x) Mar-21 ABV.
Though the bank has strong management team and a well-articulated strategy in place the execution is going to be critical to deliver long-term sustainable growth and earnings. NPL cycle has shown improvement signs and we estimate earnings to recover though credit cost trajectory can still remain uneven given sluggish macro. We thus estimate RoA/RoE to improve to 1.4%/17.0% by FY21 and maintain our Buy rating with a TP of INR925 (2.7x FY21E ABV + INR42 for subsidiaries).
Over FY19, AXSB has demonstrated meaningful improvement in performance metrics. Profitability improved for the retail and wholesale businesses (loss in FY17 & 18). After growing briskly over FY17- 18, SA traction slowed for the bank and system. With moderating slippages and LLPs, AXSB changed course over FY19 towards normalised earnings and RoAAs. Improving asset quality (with rising coverage), better risk practices, focus on high yielding retail products and cost consciousness will drive earnings. Maintain BUY with SOTP value of Rs 895 (2.8x FY21E ABV of Rs 309 + Rs 30 for subs).