The Hindustan Unilever (HUL) share price rose in the early trade on January 21, a day after the company reported its December quarter earnings.
Hindustan Unilever reported a 16.8 percent on-year rise in net profit to Rs 2,243 crore for the quarter ended December 2021. This was in line with analysts' expectations of Rs 2,242.7 crore.
The soap-to-shampoo conglomerate saw its revenue from operations grow 10.4 percent on-year to Rs 13,092 crore for the reported quarter, which was slightly above the street's estimate of Rs 12,995 crore.
On the operating profit front, HUL surpassed estimates with a 14.9 percent year-on-year rise to Rs 3,279 crore as against expectations of Rs 3,188 crore. The company's operating margin for the reported quarter expanded 100 basis points to 25.4 percent.
The Indian benchmark indices opened gap-down on January 21 with the Sensex down 522.28 points, or 0.88 percent, at 58942.34, and the Nifty down 154 points, or 0.87 percent, at 17603, while writing this copy.
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Here is what brokerages had to say about the stock and the company after its December quarter earnings:
The research house kept an "equal-weight" rating on the stock and cut the target price to Rs 2,766 from Rs 3,012, as the Q3 earnings beat its estimate and stayed slightly ahead of consensus.
The management sounded optimistic about the company's performance, while cautioned about near-term
The broking firm has maintained 'outperform' call with a target at Rs 2,800.
Credit Suisse expects the company to deliver healthy mid-teens earnings growth in FY23, while volume growth is likely to remain in low single digits.
The research firm has maintained 'outperform' call on the stock with a target at Rs 2,725.
The company is relatively better positioned but tailwinds lacking for stock performance. It is well positioned in earnings growth longevity and preparedness to handle disruptions.
The mean valuations have reverted to the five-year average.
The broking house has kept a 'buy' call on the stock with a target at Rs 2,900.
A round of price hike that drove the double-digit revenue growth is going to offset input price pressure, it said.
The company’s margin was improved, driving 15 percent EBITDA growth. The near-term outlook is clouded by weak consumption trends and stiff raw material cost inflation.
Jefferies expects a recovery in revenue and earnings growth in FY23.
Revisions to our model have led to a +2.6 percent/-0.9 percent/-0.1 percent change in the FY22E/FY23E/FY24E EPS estimates, said the broking house.
Before a steeper commodity cost inflation v/s peers and HUVR’s over indexed discretionary portfolio affected earnings in FY21 and FY22, the same had been extremely strong, having reported 18 percent average annual growth in EPS in the four years ending FY20. This was particularly impressive given the weak mid-single-digit earnings growth posted by its (much smaller) peers over the same period. We expect the company to return to the 15-17 percent earnings growth range.
"Given all these factors, valuations at 51.9x/45.3x FY23/FY24 EPS still leave room for an upside. We maintain our 'buy' rating with a target price of Rs 2,750/share (55x FY24E EPS)." .
Though a slowdown in rural demand and raw material inflation will lead to moderate growth in the near term, a strong portfolio of brands, market share gains in the key categories, strong team with great focus supported by R&D and agile distribution and supply chain will help HUL to achieve volume-led earnings growth in the medium term.
We maintain our buy recommendation on the stock with an unchanged price target of Rs 3,185.
At 9:18am, Hindustan Unilever was quoting at Rs 2,266.15, up Rs 4.55, or 0.20 percent, on the BSE.