RIL’s recent underperformance versus Nifty is more macro driven: JP Morgan

Foreign brokerage, JP Morgan has said that RIL’s recent underperformance versus Nifty is more macro driven and likely driven by the overall FII move from India to China as RIL is likely among the largest FII positions.

RIL is trading at the lower end of its recent trading range. “Overall, we still see a healthy earnings environment for RIL, with the O2C and E&P businesses benefitting from China reopening and higher volumes, and this supports our OW thesis,” JP Morgan said.

“We do not see listings of the consumer business this year or any stake sale in the New Energy business. Progress on JFS and improvement in Petrochem spreads should be near term catalysts,” the report said.

The report said O2C was the key driver for the earnings beat and O2C (Refining, Petrochem) and E&P should remain the key earning drivers in CY23 as Consumer business growth slows down. While Jio was soft, digital services ex Jio was strong.

“We remain OW on RIL and believe the recent underperformance is mostly flows driven (given continued FII sell down in India) even as the underlying earnings environment remains strong,” JP Morgan said.

RIL reported consolidated EBITDA at Rs 352.5bn and was a beat versus consensus estimates. While interest costs increased sharply quarter on quarter and other income declined, marginally lower tax rate offset some of the impact. Capex at Rs 375bn was up 16 per cent quarter on quarter and net debt increased by 18 per cent quarter on quarter and stood at a nine quarter high. Given RIL’s lack of disclosure on segment-wise capex and any guidance on capex, forecasting capex (and hence net debt) is a difficult exercise. However, we do not see the current run-rate sustain, JP Morgan said.

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