Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pantaloon Retail Buy Recommendation

Research: Macquarie 

Rating: Outperform 

CMP: RS 145 

Macquarie maintains its ‘Outperform’ rating on Pantaloon Retail. However, it has cut the earnings estimates and target price to reflect the expectations of slowing same-store sales growth and the credit crunch. Same-store sales (SSS) growth for Indian retailers turned negative for the first time in 4Q08. 

Slowing growth, the spectre of job losses and the high base effect (from the good old days of 2007) impacted sales. The problem was sharper in the high-end product segment versus items for daily consumption. Pantaloon saw its SSS growth improve from -3 .6% and -14 % in December 2008 to 4% and 12% in January 2009 for value retail and lifestyle retail respectively. 

Based on the estimates, Pantaloon’s operations can support growth of around 1-2 million sq feet per year with limited external funding. The supply-demand dynamics have led to a rise in retail rents in the last three years. Macquarie expects this to continue and average rents to fall at least another 25% over the next 12 months. We expect Pantaloon to be able to ride this tough period given its high exposure to value retail and planned capital raising by equity dilution or preferential share allotment.