A financial trader monitors his computer screen at the Bombay Stock Exchange in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

2 Stocks Get Bullish Rating, 1 Cement Maker Downgraded

HDFC Standard Life Insurance Co. Ltd. and Reliance Nippon Asset Management Co. Ltd. were rated favourably by two brokerages, while Chennai-based Ramco Cements Ltd. was downgraded to ‘Hold’ from ‘Buy’ on multiple headwinds.

Here’s what the brokerages had to say:

Deutsche Bank On Ramco Cements

  • Downgraded to ‘Hold’ from ‘Buy’; target price cut to Rs 750 from Rs 790.
  • Weak demand and prices in south India affects medium-term outlook.
  • Rising energy cost to impact margins.
  • Cut earnings per share for the financial years through March 2020 by 5-8 percent; expect 9 percent compounded annual growth rate in volume by 9 percent.
  • Like longer-term strategy of de-risking business model and expanding in the east.
  • Prefer Dalmia Bharat and Shree Cement where risk-reward is more attractive.
  • Headwinds: Declining volumes and prices in Tamil Nadu and Kerala and rising competition in the east.

Morgan Stanley On HDFC Standard Life

  • Initiated ‘Overweight’ with target price of Rs 425.
  • HDFC Standard Life Insurance Co. Ltd. is one of the best plays on India's protection story.
  • One of the strongest distribution franchises; Relies heavily on HDFC Bank.
  • Specialises in insurance – an underpenetrated and highly profitable segment.
  • Superior franchise to drive steady growth.
  • Improvement in revenue mix to offset margin pressure.
  • Stands out from peers because of well balanced savings product mix, increasing protection mix, profitable distribution model, high technology focus and experienced management.
  • Expect protection premiums to grow at a compounded rate of 44 percent by March 2020, and 20 percent between March 2020 and March 2030.
  • Expect return on enterprise value to sustain at 20 percent over the next three years.
  • Expect value of new business to grow at a compounded rate CAGR of 28 percent by March 2020.
  • Near-term upside is limited following strong listing.
  • Bull case price target of Rs 580: Strong growth, significant improvement in persistency and stronger-than-expected performance on protection.

CLSA On Reliance Nippon Life AMC

  • Initiated ‘Buy’ with target price of Rs 325.
  • Mutual funds in a sweet spot with rising penetration.
  • Robust earnings growth and high dividend payouts to aid investor returns.
  • Expect asset under management, revenue and net profit to grow at a compounded rate of 23 percent, 28 percent and 26 percent respectively by March 2020.
  • Dividend yield to rise to 3.1 percent by the next financial year versus 1.6 percent clocked during the previous financial year.
  • Reliance Nippon to leverage retail strength.
  • Topline growth largely driven by rise in share of equity.
  • Equity share in asset under management to rise to 40 percent by March 2020 versus 28 percent in March 2017.
  • Cost of operations to remain high.