HUL Q4 Review: Brokerages Remain Bullish; Shares Drop
HUL detergent brand Surf Excel at a supermarket in Mumbai. (Photographer. Santosh Verma/Bloomberg News.)

HUL Q4 Review: Brokerages Remain Bullish; Shares Drop

Brokerages remained bullish on Hindustan Unilever Ltd. after fourth-quarter results, citing digital enhancement through its Shikhar app and launch of affordable packs for health drinks, among others.

India’s largest consumer goods maker saw its volume jump 16% over the year earlier in the quarter ended March. Although that was on a low base as volumes contracted last year because of Covid-19 lockdowns. The company’s profit and revenue, too, surged in the reported period despite elevated inflationary pressures.

According to IDBI Capital, the maker of Lux soap is better prepared during the ongoing second wave of the pandemic compared to the last one. Motilal Oswal, however, said the ongoing lockdowns would result in a temporary impact on high-margin discretionary product sales.

Shares of HUL dropped as much as 1.3% to Rs 2,375 apiece in early trading compared with NSE Nifty 50 index's 0.5% drop. The stock had closed flat on Thursday after results were released during market hours.

Of the 41 analysts tracking HUL, 34 have a ‘buy’ rating, four suggest a ‘hold’ and three recommend a ‘sell’, according to Bloomberg data.

Also read: HUL Q4 Results: Volume Growth At 16%, Profit Beats Estimates

Here’s what brokerages have to say about HUL’s fourth-quarter results...

UBS

  • Maintains ‘buy’ with a target price of Rs 2,850 apiece.

  • Key has been the work around increasing availability and affordability of Horlicks and Boost with cheaper access packs.

  • Distribution inroads in rural markets.

  • Digitising general trade through its Shikhar app.

Nirmal Bang

  • Maintains ‘buy’ rating with a target price of Rs 2,760 apiece.

  • HUL offers a decent earnings growth visibility in the large-cap Indian consumer space for the next couple of years.

  • Judicious and calibrated pricing action along with cost savings would help it to mitigate the impact on margin.

Motilal Oswal

  • Maintains ‘buy’ rating with a target price of Rs 2,780 apiece.

  • Likely to resume the strong earnings growth path from the pre-Covid era.

  • The strong outlook on rural, Glaxosmithkline Consumer Healthcare synergies, and sustained growth and premiumisation in skin cleansing offer further medium-term tailwinds.

  • The company’s earnings growth has gained further momentum in recent years before Covid-19.

IDBI Capital

  • Maintains ‘buy’ rating with a target price of Rs 2,607 apiece.

  • As per the brokerage’s channel check, HUL has taken 13-20% hike in select stock-keeping units of key brands—Lifebuoy, Rexona, Liril, etc.

  • HUL has launched Rs 2 sachets in Horlicks and Boost brand to drive market development and penetration in the category.

  • Expects moderate impact on HUL’s out-of-home portfolio.

Nomura

  • Maintain ‘buy’ rating with a target price of Rs 3,000 apiece.

  • The demand impact for HUL will be lower this time as it has significantly bettered its digital enhancements with the Shikhar B2B app.

  • It has also stepped up its Shakti entrepreneurs which should further add to its competitive advantage in rural areas.

  • Demand to again witness an upsurge in its health/hygiene/nutrition categories, HUL is strongly positioned and better equipped compared to last year and versus peers.

  • HUL stepped up its innovation intensity and continues to introduce products from its global portfolio, which will further boost sales.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.