Asian Paints revenues beat estimates hugely

Sustainability of demand in the forthcoming quarters or in the forthcoming months is going to be the key factor from here on, says Naveen Kulkarni, CIO, Axis Securities. One did not expect such a big beat from Asian Paints. They are saying that profitability across businesses was well supported by softer raw material prices, and various cost control measures being actively pursued by the management and it seems like all of it has come to work. It is a beat on all counts.Yes so the beat is significant. The revenues would have beaten our estimates by more than 17-18% and that is a fundamentally huge beat. Of course, correspondingly the EBITDA numbers and the PAT numbers are not comparable to the estimates that we had. So the beat is quite significant. Moreover the commentary seems to be quite encouraging. Asian Paints has been known to be one of those companies which has consistently delivered volume growth and of course has a very strong network. The June numbers are encouraging but I believe it has a lot to do with pent-up demand. June numbers would have seen a lot of pent-up demand getting stacked up and that would have resulted in the double digit volume growth that the management is talking about. Sustainability of that in the forthcoming quarters or in the forthcoming months is going to be the key factor from here on. Overall, I would still say the numbers are very strong, considering what we were expecting. Even the international portfolio has done well the management said, supported by favourable operating conditions in markets in the Middle East as well as Africa. They are saying the business registered a healthy double digit volume growth in June, to end the quarter on a promising note. That really is the kind of confidence that you saw from some of the IT majors as well, a positive body language.We cannot necessarily compare IT companies with FMCG companies because IT companies tend to have a pipeline and they also give what you call a guidance for the year which a company like Asian Paints will not give. What kind of guidance can we expect for the next nine months? . So that is going to be a challenge. The June numbers were strong but there would have been pent-up demand which would have impacted the numbers. Important thing will be whether the double digit volume growth is going to sustain in the months of say September, October onwards and that is going to be the key factor. Once the pent-up demand is exhausted, we will start seeing normalised growth rate coming back and what that normalised trajectory is going to be is a key factor. As far as stock price is concerned, it is pretty much at pre-Covid levels. From that perspective, there is no great respite there. The market is already factoring in a normalised kind of scenario. How quickly we reach that and what is the pace of recovery is going to dictate the future stock performance.