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Shares of metal companies were in focus with the S&P BSE Metal index hitting six-year high on expectations of strong earnings growth in July-September quarter (Q2FY18). Tata Steel, Jindal Steel & Power (JSPL) and National Aluminium hit their respective fresh 52-week highs, while Hindalco touched a new high on the BSE in intra-day trade on Friday. At 10:11 AM; the S&P BSE Metal index was up 0.88% at 14,379, as compared to 0.55% rise in the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex. The metal index hit an intra-day high of 14,414, its highest level since July 28, 2011. Thus far in the current calendar year 2017, the S&P BSE Metal index has rallied 42% against 21.5% rise in the benchmark index. Strong commodity prices coupled with decent volume growth would continue to earnings of metal companies. “In the metal space, on a sequential basis, we expect the EBITDA/tonne of steel players to increase while non-ferrous players are also likely to report healthy revenues and profitability. On account of an increase in domestic steel prices and moderation in the prices of coking coal (key raw material), we expect steel players to report healthy EBITDA/tonne sequentially,” ICICI Securities said in a Q2FY18 results preview. Analyst at Edelweiss Securities expects year-on-year (YoY) earnings growth momentum to sustain in Q2FY18 for most players in the metal & mining. This spurt will be largely on account of price hikes & lower coking coal cost for ferrous players and higher LME prices for non– ferrous companies. Despite Q2 being a seasonally weak quarter, we expect Vedanta, Tata Steel and Hindustan Zinc to gain from operating leverage benefits.
Going ahead, while we expect ferrous players to clock earnings growth on better spreads, volumes of non‐ferrous companies are likely to surge amidst steady LME prices. We expect Coal India to benefit from higher volumes and e‐auction premium, NMDC is likely to benefit from price hike effected in September, the brokerage firm said in a note.
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