MUMBAI/NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Shares in Bharat Heavy Electricals(BHEL.NS) fell as much as 19.8 percent, after its quarterly profit dropped 49 percent on sharply lower sales in its power and industry businesses in a slowing economy.
The net profit drop prompted Deutsche Bank to downgrade the company to a “sell” rating on concerns about BHEL’s balance sheet and a slowdown in its project execution, as several of its customers were unable to pay for their existing orders.
State-run BHEL, India’s top power equipment maker, said on Saturday net profit slumped to 4.7 billion rupees in the April-June quarter from 9.2 billion rupees a year earlier.
It was the fourth consecutive quarterly fall in net profit and below analysts’ expectations. Analysts, on average, had expected a consolidated net profit of 7.5 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
BHEL shares closed 19.25 percent lower at 120.80 rupees.
BHEL’s EBITDA margin fell below expectations to 6 percent compared to 14.2 percent over the same period a year ago, according to Deutsche Bank.
“Agreed, India has to add a lot of power capacity and money supply could improve over the next 6-12 months, but delays in projects have hurt viability, making us believe there may be a few write-offs in the BS (Balance Sheet),” Deutsche Bank said in a research note.
The company’s outstanding order book stood at 1.086 trillion rupees compared to 1.152 trillion in the previous quarter.
BHEL posted its results on Saturday, a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited the southern state of Tamil Nadu to show off new power projects by the company.
BHEL’s local rival, Larsen & Toubro Ltd (LART.NS) last month warned of more speed bumps after surprising investors with a profit drop as the protracted economic slowdown took a toll on infrastructure spending.
India, Asia’s third-largest economy, is growing at its slowest pace in a decade and project bottlenecks, largely because of problems in acquiring land and high funding costs, have sapped investment in the infrastructure industry.
Reporting by Matthias Williams and Abhishek Vishnoi; Editing by Matt Driskill