Tata Steel Limited has started the process of consolidating India operations. In Europe, the company is implementing a transformation plan which aims to reduceoperating costs, rationalize capex and working capital to increase overall cash flow. The company is expected to benefit from increased government spending and efforts of addressing liquidity crunch. The stock is currently trading at 362 of EV/EBITDA 5.0x of FY21EBITDA. We have valued the stock at 1SD and have arrived at downwardly revised TP of Rs. 489 retaining “BUY” rating on stock with potential upside of 35%. Key risks to valuation are further deepening of trade war and steeper slowdown in domestic economy.
Europe does the damage; De-rating to aggravate Despite sharp increase in iron ore prices, steel prices softened by US$20-25/t in last couple of months. In spite of serious trade restrictions imposed on its imports by various countries, China acted in a disciplined manner with reduced export intensity and stable domestic demand. On the contrary, RoW (ex-China), the so called disciplined and earnings focused markets witnessed sharp contraction in demand and prices. This signifies structural downturn in steel sector on the backdrop of underlying weakness in RoW’s demandand peaked-out stimulus fed temporary acceleration in Chinese demand. Given the overleveraged B/S (Net debt/EBITDA of 4.5x) and weak earnings outlook, we reiterate Reduce with TP of Rs350, EV/EBITDA 5.5x FY21e.
Tata Steel Limited and Thyssenkrupp AG of Germany had signed definitive agreements in June 2018 to combine their business in Europe to create a 50:50 joint venture company which could have become second largest steel company in the European continent. However, European Commission expressed concerns and objections on automotive steel and packaging steel. The managements of these companies went back to EC with remedies which were found not sufficient. Expecting the deal to be rejected by European Commission, the management of these two companies decided to call off their proposed joint venture on 10th May 2019. With this development, Tata Steel plan to deleverage and de-consolidate business will get adversely impacted. However, the recent growth in company steel production has been led by strong domestic demand ably supported by moderate recovery in European operations. We have valued the stock on EV/EBITDA 6.3x of FY21E EBITDA for the downwardly revised TP of Rs. 618 with potential upside of 28%.