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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Axis IT&T - Safe stock for investment - Multibagger?

Equity investment should always be done cautiously. Though Financial markets (especially stocks trading) looks lucrative, if one fails to understand the finance, better you leave it to stock market experts (Mutual Funds, portfolio management etc.) Invest Wisely,Trade Cautiously !! Happy investing !!

Axis IT&T - The Future Aerospace Services' Sector Leader

BSE Code - 532395
NSE Code – IT&T

Current Market Price - Rs. 29
Target Price - Rs. 100

Investment Rationale :
Correct Assessment of {Past + Present + Future} = Correct Investment Decision.

To simplify, if we deeply dig into the 'past' of a company, have a sense of what is the 'present' of the company and can imagine perfectly the 'future' of a company based on past and present then we can arrive at the right investment decision.

Hence, lets analyze Axis IT&T's past, present and future and then arrive at a decision as to whether our decision to put a price target of Rs. 75 on this stock even in the current weak and uncertain market is valid or not.

Past :
Axis IT&T is a company which can be best described as a direction-less company wherein first it tried its hands on the booming BPO market. When that segment failed to produce desired results it tried to tap the booming Engineering Services space by acquiring Axis Inc and bringing its management under its fold. However, the acquisition of Axis Inc also failed to bring positive results as its top manager was busy in many other activities other than the pure business. But still, the things Axis Inc brought to IT&T's fold were the expert middle-level and junior-level personnel who were very talented in engineering services space as also the engineering services-infrastructure and set-up which takes many years to build.

Present :
No company can survive with only good infrastructure and good personnel unless it has the proper top management which can effectively utilize the resources the company has. The inefficiency of the top management of Axis IT&T came as a blessing in disguise for the shareholders of Axis IT&T as Mr. Rajeev Chandrashekhar who was sitting pretty with the Rs. 1500 cr. + cash from BPL-sale was on the look-out for a company with engineering services expertise which can serve his Jupiter group's aggressive aviation-sector plans. He saw Axis IT&T a perfect fit and so he acquired it immediately via Tayana Software - a subsidiary of Rajeev's tech-firm Jupiter Strategic Technologies. It is worthwhile to note here Mr. Rajeev Chandrashekhar's seriousness regarding acquiring Axis IT&T by the fact that he didn't acquire a 20, 30 or 40 % share but a hefty 60.83 % share of Axis IT&T which itself shows the big plans he has for this only listed entity of his group.

Future :
Now, with all the acquisition formalities completed in July 2008 and 61 % stake of Axis IT&T under his belt, top honchos of Rajeev Chandrashekhar group are busy charting out strategies regarding the group's aviation plans. Although the slowdown in aviation sector has made the strategists cautious than before but Mr. Chadrashekhar is quite clear in his intentions and has reportedly sent a strong message across his group to tap aggressively the aviation sector especially the aviation-support-hub-plans. Under this plan, Mr. Chandrashekhar plans to build a vertically integrated support-system wherein the client approaching him gets all the services starting from design, repair, overhaul, consultancy, etc. except manufacturing. The acquired Axis IT&T is likely to cater to design, MRO-consultancy & MRO-optimization. The strategists are also considering the possibility of starting new services and bringing innovative solutions pertaining to Aircraft signaling, Anti-collision-methodologies and sensor-based aircraft-fault-reporting- technology under Axis IT&T's umbrella. Talks are going on with EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company ) to supply their expertise on bringing out these innovative solutions. The blueprint regarding the final plan for Axis IT&T is deadlined to be ready by November 2008 and Mr. Chandrashekhar will approve the plan by January 2009. Starting from January 2009, a recruitment-drive will start and the real mega-operation is likely to start from April 2009. In FY10, strategists want Axis IT&t to reach an average quarterly run rate of Rs. 35-45 cr. which is likely to scale up in FY11 to Rs. 100 cr. per quarter.

? A Price Target of Rs. 75 easily achievable by March 2009 - WHY ?
At the current market price of Rs. 23, Axis IT&T is trading at approximately Rs. 50 cr. market cap. Normally, the companies where a strong group is involved discount the future well in advance. A typical case in point is Fortis Financial Services (now called Religare Technova) which surrendered its NBFC license and has charted out plans to focus on technology sector recently. Inspite of the heavy losses under which Fortis is reeling at present, it is trading at a market cap of Rs. 250+ cr. which is purely a case of discounting the future. Although such a hefty market cap is looking rosy at present but once the financial results will be out for FY10 it will look really cheap.

Similarly, Axis IT&T is available at a market cap of just Rs. 50 cr. only because of the uncertain market conditions and the blueprint of the plan for Axis IT&T still not ready. Once the blueprint is out and is in the hands of Mr. Chandrashekhar and the recruitment-drive starts in January 2009 it is likely to trade at a minimum market cap of Rs. 150 cr. which translates into the market price of approximately Rs. 75. The risk of not achieving this target is minimum because Mr. Chandrashekhar holds 61 % of Axis IT&T and Axis IT&T is the only listed entity of his group. Hence, evenif due to tough credit-market, Mr. Chandrashekhar wants to tap the equity route, he will first look at reverse merger of any of his group entity into Axis IT&T which will be hugely beneficial for Axis IT&T's shareholders. The downside is minimal as Mr, Chandrashekhar will not at all like to trade his only listed venture at below Rs. 10.

After successfully exiting BPL, Mr. Chandrashekhar is also said to have hit success in his media venture Asianet with Murdoch getting interested in it. Hence, now he is focusing on two fronts – first his Private Equity plans and second his Aviation-sector-plans. Both the focuses will be beneficial for Axis IT&T as via PE it can get more funds and via Aviation-sector-plans it can get more revenues, profits and tie-ups.

Hence, to conclude, you look at any of the angle, Axis IT&T is a very safe bet in current uncertain market as the downside is limited while upside is unlimited.

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