BofA downgrades Hero MotoCorp; cuts target price

Tue Dec 4, 2012 11:34am IST

Employees work in an assembly line at a plant in Haridwar April 8, 2008. REUTERS/Tanushree Punwani/Files

Employees work in an assembly line at a plant in Haridwar April 8, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Tanushree Punwani/Files

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Reuters Market Eye - Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgrades Hero MotoCorp(HROM.NS) to "underperform" from "buy" and cuts its target price to 1,650 rupees from 1,980 rupees.

The bank expects the company's domestic sales to remain muted and in 'single digits.' This is primarily due to heavy dependence on 100cc bikes where better options are available with competitors, and likely structural shift to 150cc plus premium bikes where the "company's franchise is weak".

"We cut our export assumptions by 40 percent/year to factor in the six-month delay in its overseas foray," BofA said in a note.

It expects Hero MotoCorp's margin expansion to be muted, cuts EBITDA margin assumptions by 70bp/year to 11.4/13.1 percent to factor peer pressures, and rupee weakness that will hurt imports.

At 10:57 a.m., shares were down 0.78 percent at 1,807 rupees.

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