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Monday, October 26, 2009

India Cements ltd:Future growth prospects and outlook

Scripscan:India Cements ltd

Story:India Cements is now one of the cheapest stocks under various valuation metrics — be it price-to-book value, price-to-earnings multiple. For instance, India Cements trades at just 1.2 times its book value. In contrast, Shree Cements with a focus on northern markets, trades at 4.6 times its book value, while UltraTech cement, which also has a presence in the south, trades at 2.85 times its book value. Also, the dividend yield of India Cements at 1.6%, is higher than that of Shree Cement and UltraTech cement.The Street has been concerned that south-based players like India Cements could grapple with weakening price realisations in future. That’s because the cement capacity in the region is expected to rise from 78 million tonnes in FY 09 to nearly 120 million tonnes in FY 12, and demand growth is expected to be much slower. During the monsoon season there was strong price correction in some southern markets.However, India Cements has been attempting to diversify its presence beyond the southern markets, and in April 09, it had brought on stream a one million tonne cement grinding unit capacity in Maharashtra. The company is expected to add nearly Rs 350 crore to its net sales in FY 10 from this plant. Long- term investors have recognised this shift in the strategy and there has been a steady increase in delivery trades.India Cements’ installed capacity at the end of FY 09 was 12.95 million tonnes compared with 8.81 million tonnes a year earlier. As part of this expansion during FY 08, a grinding unit with a capacity of one million tonnes at Chennai was completed in August 2008.In last two years, the company had invested nearly Rs 1,960 crore in capacity expansion. This expansion has been funded largely through internal accruals. India Cements is expected to end FY10 with a capacity of 14.3 million tones. In the first quarter, it commissioned additional grinding capacity at its Malkapur facility and is working on the upgradation of its kiln at Chilamakur, Andhra Pradesh. And despite this capex programme, its debt to equity ratio was at 0.68 at the end of FY 09, compared with 0.96 a year earlier. It had cash flows of Rs 706 crore in FY 09 and Rs 1,017 crore in FY 08. The company is also building two captive power plants of 50 MW each, at its facilities in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, at a cost of nearly Rs 500 crore.Recently, the company along with its wholly-owned subsidiary, ICL Financial Services, had launched an open offer for Indo Zinc, a loss-making zinc producer. Indo Zinc was implementing a project for setting up a cement plant in Rajasthan with a capacity of 1.5 million tonnes, but this project will now be implemented by India Cements. The cost of setting up this plant in the north along with captive power facilities, is estimated at Rs 600 crore. India Cements had recently raised Rs 592.5 crore via a QIP for its expansion plans. India Cements also owns an IPL team and has a presence in the shipping industry, with small vessels operating in the dry bulk segment. However, the contribution of the non–cement business was very small to its total net sales. At Rs 115, India Cements trades at a P/E of 7 and investors could take a position in this stock with a long-term outlook. Other south-based players like Madras Cement trades at a P /E of 7,while for UltraTech cement it is at 9.1 times.

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