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    Axis Bank shares gain on robust Q4 numbers: Here is what brokerages recommend

    Axis Bank shares gain on robust Q4 numbers: Here is what brokerages recommend

    Axis Bank shares gain on robust Q4 numbers: Here is what brokerages recommend
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    By Pranati Deva   IST (Published)

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    Brokerages were bullish on Axis Bank after it reported a net profit of Rs 1,505 crore for the March quarter, against a net loss of Rs 2,189 crore in the year-ago quarter.

    Brokerages were bullish on Axis Bank after it reported a net profit of Rs 1,505 crore for the March quarter, against a net loss of Rs 2,189 crore in the year-ago quarter. The profit came on back of healthy growth — both in interest income and other income as well as a steep fall in provisions over the previous year quarter.
    The market cheered the robust Q4 earnings with the stock gaining as much as 3.2 percent to Rs 765 per share in intra-day trade on Friday on BSE.
    For HDFC Securities, the private sector lender remained a top pick amongst private banks amid improving margins, reduction in Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) and improving operating efficiency.
    Global brokerages like Credit Suisse and CLSA also raised their target price of the stock post the results.
    Kotak Securities, however, maintained 'reduce' on the stock with a target price of Rs 730 per share.
    "Stretched and sustainable return on equity (RoE) target of 18 percent has raised expectations for investors to expand valuations over the past year but the risk of disappointment is quite high, especially if the RoE trajectory is slower than expected. We like all the changes and decisions taken by the senior management but would be comfortable at a lower multiple than what the stock is trading at currently," Kotak said in a report.
    According to Credit Suisse, asset quality trends further improvement, while the operating performance of the bank is stable. It added that the asset quality of the bank continued to improve with net NPAs declining to 2 percent. The brokerage, however, cut its FY20 EPS estimate by 3 percent due to one-off provisions. It maintains outperform with a target raised to Rs 850 from Rs 780 per share.
    Meanwhile, Jefferies said that the provisions were beefed up but should materially smoothen FY20 onwards. In spite of one large NPL, overall slippage came in below street expectation, hence the stock remains the brokerages' top pick in the sector. It cut the banks FY20 EPS estimate by 1.8 percent due to a flattish margin build-up.
    Macquarie had a "neutral" call on the stock with a target of Rs 760 per share. The brokerage expects a pause to access delivery on RoE targets before further re-rating. it added that liquidity tightness and flat FY20 NIM guidance will delay management's target of 18 percent RoE.
    CLSA maintains a "buy" rating on the stock with target raised to Rs 890 from Rs 840 per share. The brokerage believes pick-up in CASA key in supporting the banks' growth ambitions and earnings should see a turnaround from FY20.
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