Siemens Ltd staged a decent show in the June quarter on operating metrics. But the Street, which looks to order flows too as an indicator of prospects, may not be enthused.
Adjusting for the absence of the healthcare division in this quarter (it was sold), new orders at Rs2,849 crore were barely 3% higher when compared to a year back. This was in spite of the managing director and CEO, Sunil Mathur’s optimism. He said, “Government spending continues in the transmission, distribution and railways segment and we are seeing first signs of capex in private sector as well." Hopefully, the quarters ahead may be better in terms of order flows.
This apart, the company did well on revenue momentum and profitability. Net revenue rose by 24%, but was pulled up by the energy management segment that recorded a 54% jump year-on-year (yoy). The segment’s profits (before interest and tax) too surged by 95%. Two other segments—building technologies and mobility—clocked a decent jump in revenue and profits too.
What dragged performance slightly was the process industries and drives segment, where revenue rose but profit contracted to a third of the year-ago period.
On the whole, its operating margin at 8.5% fell short of Bloomberg’s average estimate by 60 basis points (bps). It was also a tad lower than a year back. Strong revenue traction trickled down to a 20% jump in operating profit and a 50% rise in net profit.
For now, Siemens’ order book assures decent growth for the next 12 to 18 months. The stock has been north-bound since its restructuring brought in better margins and its order book has shaped up respectably. At Rs1,452, the stock remains among the most expensive capital goods firms, commanding a stupendous price-to-earning multiple of 52 times estimated earnings for FY2019.
The next trigger for the stock could come from growth in orders. Meanwhile, investors could tune in to the global parent Siemens AG’s June quarter results, scheduled on 3 August that would have insights on its outlook for India among other regions.