EXID’s 2QFY20 revenues were in-line at Rs26.1b (-4% YoY and -6% QoQ). The weak volumes in auto OEM and telecom segment was offset by continued growth in replacement, UPS, Solar and other industrial segment. Gross margins expanded 70bp QoQ (310bp YoY) at 36.2% (PLe 33.7%) led by soft RM and favorable product mix. However, this was partially offset by higher other expense at 15.5% (PLe 14.3%, +80bp YoY). Better operating performance and lower tax rate at 15.6% (PLe 32.5%) drive adjusted PAT growth by 30.8% YoY at Rs2.4bn (PLe Rs1.7bn). We increase FY20/21 EPS by14.3%/6% to factor in for lower RM and tax rate. We maintain ‘Accumulate’ with a price target of Rs218 (earlier Rs208) based on 17x Sep’21E standalone EPS plus value of insurance business vertical).
We interacted with EXID’s management on the side lines of AGM. The management elaborated how EXID would like to play EV landscape (through CV fleet segment, 2W and other industrial applications) and its preparedness (setting up 3 assembly lines of 250mw each for each of above segments) at an investment of INR2b (of which INR1b will get invested by Mar-20). Of the three, its 1st battery pack assembly line is expected to operational by the 3QFY20 while other two will be ready by Mar-20. On the lead acid front, EXID expects while automotive replacement demand would continue to grow 8- 10% in FY20-21, OEM demand will be under pressure in-line with current slowdown. However, industrial segment would continue grow at double-digit rate in FY20/21. We maintain ‘Accumulate’ with a price target of Rs209 (17xMar’21E standalone EPS plus value of insurance business value.
We expect Exide to benefit from: 1) further improvement in the replacement demand, given healthy primary sales in the past three years; 2) a market share gain from unorganized players, after GST implementation; 3) an uptick in the nascent e-rickshaws /solar battery segments; 4) the initiative to strengthen distribution network by introducing the sub-distributor model; and 5) the decline in lead prices (20% YoY), which will further raise margin. We expect a 21% YoY/ EPS CAGR over FY19-21E, driven by a 10% revenue growth (driven by replacement demand) and 120bps margin expansion (due to weak lead prices and measures to cut costs. We lower our multiple to 17x and maintain Buy, with SOTP-based TP of ` 242 (17x FY21E EPS + 1.5x Inv (` 30) for the insurance).
We believe that healthy growth momentum in auto replacement, industrial and exports segments would help contain weak OEM demand. We maintain “Accumulate” with a price target ofRs231, based on 19xMar’21E standalone EPS plus Rs30 for value of investments. The stock is currently trading at 19.3x FY20E and 18.9x FY21E standalone EPS.
Exide has a healthy balance sheet with surplus cash on its books and controlled working capital cycle (~60 days). This coupled with asset turnover of ~3x and stable EBITDA margins of ~14% results in robust ~18% RoCE. With replacement market aiding volume growth, we expect sales & PAT to grow at a CAGR of 6.3% & 5.5%, respectively, in FY19-21E. The company, however, trades at rich valuations amid technological disruption in the automobile battery space and muted growth prospects. Therefore, we downgrade the stock to REDUCE. We value it on SOTP basis at Rs 200, valuing the battery business at Rs 167 i.e. 15x P/E on FY21E EPS of | 11.1 and assigning Rs 33 to its stake in insurance business & smelting operations.
We expect a 18% EPS CAGR over FY19-21E, primarily led by a 13% growth in revenue (+7% volume, 6% in ASP) and 20bps margin expansion, which is much higher than peers. However, this is discounted in the valuations (25x FY21E PE) at current levels. We recommend Sell, with TP ` 456 (based on 22x of FY21E earnings + value of TVS Credit Services at Rs 35/share)
Going forward, company’s Cost Control measures and Technology up gradation strategies would help to improve the bottom-line. Also, tie up for batteries having lithium-ion cell tech- nology at its plant is expected to become operational by mid-2020 would add to improve company’s performance and lower the raw material cost to some extent. As, electric vehicles to be the next leg for growth combined with 2W growth expected to remain strong in the years to come due to increase in consumption & rural income. We remain positive for the sector and Exide industries to maintain its share in the market. However, continued escalation in lead prices remains a major concern. Adding to that, muted auto sales numbers and competition pressures are also pulling back the margins Estimating the share price of the company as per P/E valuation P/E of FY20 E at 23x , EPS (Est.) at `11.23, the estimated share price for next 1 year tenure turns around to be Rs 262. We recommend to BUY this script.