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Last Updated : Jan 20, 2017 07:18 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Axis falls 7% on stress woes but analysts say 'worry not'

Net interest income during the quarter grew by 4.1 percent to Rs 4,333.73 crore compared with Rs 4162.06 crore in year-ago period, with loan growth of 10 percent at Rs 3.47 lakh crore as of December 2016.


Shares of Axis Bank fell over 7 percent intraday Friday after it posted dismal December quarter. Profit of the country's third largest private sector lender plunged sharply by 73.3 percent year-on-year to Rs Rs 579.6 crore despite sharp surge in other income and lower tax cost. Slow growth in net interest income and higher provisions dented profitability.


Net interest income during the quarter grew by 4.1 percent to Rs 4,333.73 crore compared with Rs 4162.06 crore in year-ago period, with loan growth of 10 percent at Rs 3.47 lakh crore as of December 2016.


However, most analysts are betting on the bank but concerned about its loan growth, fee income pressures and failure of any improvement on slippages.

CLSA maintains outperform rating with target at Rs 550 per share. It says asset quality pressure moderated from the highs of Q2 and adds that treasury gains were high but it may be unlikely to sustain. It has lowered earnings estimates for FY17-19 by 14-18 percent on higher credit costs. It expects earnings to decline in FY17 and normalise thereafter.

Close

Bank of America Merrill Lynch also has reiterated buy with target at Rs 549 per share as net interest margin (NIM) guidance stays at 3.6 percent. However, it feels that margins may disappoint, as migration to floating rate loans has increased. It has slashed FY17/18 earnings per share (EPS) estimates by 28/20 percent due to higher credit costs. The brokerage firm also feels EPS growth to rebound to 60 percent in FY18/19. It also thinks credit cost guidance may disappoint and be a near-term overhang. It see return on equities (ROEs) bouncing back to 15-16 percent by FY19.


Citi has buy rating with a target of Rs 600 percent while rising non-watchlist slippages raise some concerns in near-term.


Credit Suisse also maintains outperform with target unchanged at Rs 527 per share. It expects FY18 pre-provision profitability to be under pressure and
sees FY18 slippages staying elevated at 3 percent.


Though Nomura thinks failure of any improvement on slippages remains a risk, it still reiterates buy rating with a target at Rs 550 per share. It believes that slower loan growth and fee income pressures are risks to earnings estimates.


Deutsche Bank has a hold rating on Axis Bank with a target at Rs 520 per share but is concerned that NIMs and fee trajectory may stay weak in near-term. It has cut earnings estimates by 5/8 percent for FY17/18.


Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs maintains sell rating with slashed target of Rs 380 per share.

At 16:00 hrs Axis Bank was quoting at Rs 450.50, down Rs 33.20, or 6.86 percent on the BSE.


First Published on Jan 20, 2017 01:18 pm
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