Business | Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:45am IST

Morgan Stanley starts Asian Paints at 'overweight'

Reuters Market Eye - Morgan Stanley initiated coverage of Asian Paints Ltd (ASPN.NS) with an "overweight" rating and a target price of 5,220 rupees.

The investment bank says the paint maker will enjoy "strong" revenue growth, with gross margins expected to expand by 300 bps in fiscal years 2012-2015.

Asian Paints also deserves a premium in terms of valuations, Morgan Stanley says.

"We think competitors are unlikely to match its distribution reach and logistics strength over the next five years," the bank writes in a note, dated Thursday.

"And we believe valuations should be viewed in the context of earnings resilience, improving return ratios, better payout ratios, and successful innovations," Morgan Stanley adds.

Asian Paints shares up 0.8 percent at 4,311.50 rupees.

(Reporting by Manoj Dharra)

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