April 27, 2018 / 4:59 AM / 24 days ago

BUZZ-India's Axis Bank shares swing to positive territory on management commentary

(Recasts to update reversed course)

** Shares of Axis Bank, India’s third-biggest private sector lender by assets, reverse course to rise as much as 5.9 pct to 522.80 rupees, to their biggest daily pct gain since Oct 31

** Negative reaction to the bank’s first-ever quarterly loss gives way to positive movement on management commentary

** CEO Shikha Sharma said on Thursday that non-performing asset recognition phase of this credit cycle nearly complete, focus shifts to resolution

** “There is a clear try for cleaning up the balance sheet. Confidence level of management seemed strong. They have indicated that provisioning will start normalising from second half of 2019,” said Siddharth Purohit, analyst, SMC Institutional Equities

** At least four brokerages had cut their price target on stock; Credit Suisse cuts PT to 530 rupees from 595 rupees, says “normalised credit costs are unlikely to be <100 bp even in FY20”

** Aggressive cleanup could help co retrace some recent weakness - Morgan Stanley

** At least 25 of 48 brokerages rate the stock “buy” or higher, 14 “hold” and nine “sell” or lower; their median PT is 629.50 rupees

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