Ashok Leyland – Q2 Earnings Skid + EPS Estimates Rise

Ashok Leyland reported lower financial income and a higher tax rate than expected. Operationally, EBITDA was ~7% below forecasts. Sales were ~2% above estimates due to higher realizations.

Mgmt. guided to ~15% volume growth (upped from single-digits in 1QFY10), driven by confluence of recovery in industrial activity, better utilisation of trucking fleet. Margin guidance of 350 bps improvement was not stated this Q (as it was in 1Q) but mgmt noted that 10.5% EBITDA margin in 2Q could be improved on slightly.

On the back of sharp increase in earnings is driven by a) lower tax rates (benefits at the Uttaranchal plant) and b) mgmt guidance on profitability is better than anticipated, Citi revised EPS estimates to 2.91 and 3.46 for fy 10 and fy11 respectively.

JP Morgan expects EPS of Rs 2 and Rs 2.7 for fy10 and fy11 respectively.

Anand Rathi pegs EPS estimates at Rs 2.6 and Rs 2.95 for fy10 and fy11.

Morgan Stanley is expecting 2.45 and 3.62 for fy10 and fy11 [Remember, Morgan’s underlying tone on India is extremely bullish and hence EPS estimates will be higher than the rest]