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Petronet LNG running out of Gas – SELL

September 26, 2007

Globally LNG projects continue to be delayed, and prices continue to rise. Domestically produced gas in India are US$4.0-5.5/mmbtu, making LNG economics unfavorable esp. in light of ever increasing indigenous supply prospects.

In the current high price environment for LNG, the likelihood of Petronet entering into a long-term agreement anytime soon to secure supplies for its Dahej expansion and greenfield Kochi terminal appear unlikely. Spot volumes will continue to drive earnings in the near term (FY09-10E earnings increased by 11-12%); despite increasing domestic supplies, we build in high long-term utilizations driven by sustained growth in gas demand. Power plans, though interesting, are at a preliminary stage and completely contingent on competitive pricing for long-term LNG.

Petronet LNG stock is up 47% in 1 month, Citi analyst believes that the stock more than adequately reflects the high capacity utilizations (95%) that is assume in numbers in the longer term. Inherent structural challenges (increasing domestic supplies + globally high LNG prices) lend to believe that the risk is now more on the downside and warrants us to change recommendation. The DCF values are quite sensitive to capacity utilization – every 5% dip in utilization affects fair value by Rs6. As a consequence Citi downgrades the stock to Sell (3M) from Buy (1M) with TP of Rs78 on roll-forward.

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