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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Stock outlook- Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilisers

Scripscan:Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers Ltd
TRaded in:nse-bse

Introduction:Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilisers (RCF) could emerge as a key beneficiary of the rising availability of natural gas in India.As additionalcapacities become available, dependence on subsidies will decrease . All this, along with positive policy changes, make RCF an attractive bet for a long-term investor.

Business:Mumbai-based RCF is one of India’s largest producers of fertilisers and industrial chemicals. It has two operating locations, one at Trombay near Mumbai and the other at Thal in Raigarh district, and is India’s third-largest fertiliser producer . It makes urea and complex fertilisers and has a combined capacity of 25.1 lakh tonnes per annum (TPA). It also produces chemicals such as methanol, methylamines, nitric acid and ammonium bicarbonate. RCF also imports and sells urea, muriate of potash (MoP) and diammonium phosphate to support its product portfolio.

Growth Drivers:RCF is set to receive an immediate boost from increased availability of natural gas — it is to get 3.05 million cubic metres per day (mcmd) of gas from Reliance Industries, which will enable it to restart its 3.3-lakh-TPA urea plant at Trombay by this month-end and cut down naphtha consumption at its Thal plan.By September, it will also restart its 3.2-lakh-TPA complex fertiliser plant at Trombay, which was closed due to an accident. RCF’s Rapidwall project to produce low-cost pre-fabricated walling systems from gypsum produced at Trombay will start operations by end-April and the company is also revamping its methanol plant to add more capacity and cut energy consumption.All these initiatives will raise output, raising turnover and boosting bottomline. Lower costs will bring down its subsidy bill. The lower dependence on government payments, typically made two to three months after actual production, will help cut RCF’s short-term borrowings and interest costs.In the long run too, RCF has various expansion projects planned to drive growth. It has set up a joint venture with Rajasthan State Mines & Minerals (RSMML) to set up a 3-lakh-TPA di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) fertiliser plant in Rajasthan at a total estimated cost of Rs 900 crore. This project involves a 2:1 debtequity ratio.The company is also de-bottlenecking its Thal plant to scale up urea manufacturing capacity to 20 lakh TPA by mid-2010 from 17 lakh TPA now. At Thal, it is also considering a 1.2-million-TPA brownfield urea expansion. RCF has also entered into a joint venture with Gail for a coal-bed-methane project and with National Fertilisers and KRIBHCO for revival of a defunct fertiliser plant.

Financials:RCF’s net sales have risen at a cumulative annualised growth rate (CAGR) of 20.5% between 2004 and 2008. In the same period, its annual profit stagnated at around Rs 150 crore. However, the company seems to be back on the growth path and posted a 61% rise in net profit at Rs 172 crore for the ninemonth period ended December ‘08.For FY08, the company’s debt-to-equity ratio jumped to 0.75, as it had to borrow nearly Rs 900 crore more towards working capital because of rising
dependence on government subsidy payouts. For the year to end-March ‘09, the company may report an increase in the debt-to-equity ratio as it has been unable to sell nearly Rs 700 crore of bonds. However, the situation is likely to improve in the current year.The company has booked a forex loss of Rs 122 crore for the ninemonth period ended December 31, ‘08 due to currency fluctuations. Since the company doesn’t carry any foreign currency debts, this mainly represents the import obligations.

Valuation:RCF’s stock is now trading at 10.9 times earnings for the last 12 months. We expect the company to post a net profit of Rs 327 crore in FY10, which translates to a forward P/E of 7.5 at the current market price. Other major urea manufacturers such as National Fertilisers and Chambal Fertilisers are trading at P/E of 13.2 and 11.1 respectively.

Risk Factors:The company may have to write off mark-to-market loss on the bonds, which it is unable to sell due to their illiquid nature.


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