Analysts Picks - Bharti Airtel, Jet Airways, Lanco Infra, RPL

HSBC Global Research has assigned an ‘overweight’ rating to the stock saying the company’s strong balance sheet and infra-sharing models will allow it to consolidate its revenue market share leadership further.

“We value the core business at 12.5 times FY10 (estimated) EPS (earnings per share) at Rs 660 per share and tower valuations of Rs 183 per share,” said HSBC Global Research in a note to its clients.

Bharti Airtel
cmp: Rs 650.15
target price: Rs 843
The research firm is positive on Bharti based on a combination of expected sharp growth in the Indian wireless market, execution of a low-leverage, low-cost business model with a high return on invested capital, and a close alignment of majority and minority shareholder interests. However, it views higher regulatory charges and aggressive international expansion as key downside risks.

Jet Airways
cmp: Rs 181.50

target price: Rs 167
Citi investment research has changed its rating on the stock to ‘sell/high risk’ from sell/medium risk with a revised target price of Rs 167 from Rs 440. “Jet merits a high risk rating, given the competitive scenario in the domestic market, unstability in its international operations and its highly leveraged balance sheet,” said Citi in a note to its clients.

Citi believes that Jet’s operating cash losses will continue into FY10 and expects the company will need to raise fresh funds to refinance debt repayment (around $280 million over FY09/10E). “Debt/equity ratios are rendered meaningless given the significantly affected net worth — debt-equity is forecast at seven times end FY10E (including asset revaluation reserves),” said the Citi note. According to Citi, the company will face recurring losses of over Rs 36 billion (earlier Rs 20 billion) over FY09-FY10 due to decelerating passenger traffic and escalating cost pressures (aided by depreciating rupee). It expects the yields to dip by 12% in FY10E as lower fuel prices will be passed on to the customers.

Lanco Infratech
cmp: Rs 145.30
target price: 171

ICICI Securities has maintained its ‘buy’ rating on the stock. “We believe that the expected commissioning of Amarkantak I (300MW) by end-November 2008 would result in reducing execution risk/discount associated with Lanco’s power portfolio,” said ICICI Securities in a note to its clients. According to ICICI Securities, Lanco’s ongoing litigation with MPSEB to convert Amarkantak I from PPA (power purchase agreement) to merchant is expected to be resolved soon and even 50% conversion will provide upside of Rs 35/share.

“Lanco has emerged as the sole bidder for the 1,320 MW coal-based power plant at Rajpura, Punjab. We expect the tariff of the project to be lucrative, providing healthy upside along with Rs 70 billion EPC potential,” said the note. The NAV (net asset value) estimates for Lanco stand at Rs 65 billion or Rs 296 per share, the ICICI note said. “Based on our FY09E, FY10E & FY11E EPS estimates of Rs 16, Rs 19.3 & Rs 26.3, Lanco trades at P/E (price to earning) of 10.7 times, 8.8 times & 6.5 times, respectively,” the note added.

Reliance Petroleum Ltd.(RPL)
Target Price: 97

Religare Hichens Harrison has said that Reliance Petroleum's (RPL) state-of-the-art refinery is slated for commencement by end-2008 with a capacity of 29mtpa (~580,000bpd), making it the sixth largest plant in the world. The refinery has a Nelson complexity of 14 – much higher than 11.7 for Reliance Industries' existing plant – and can process heavy crude types up to APIs of 17.

However, the brokerage highlighted that about 8.8 million barrels per day of new refining capacities are expected to come on stream between 2008–2013, particularly in China, India and the Middle East.

Further, growing concerns of an economic slowdown are leading to lower demand for gasoline and petroleum products, which would keep refining margins under pressure.
Religare Hichens has a target price of Rs 97 for RPL, and has an ‘accumulate’ rating on the stock

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