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Brokerage Recommendations

Monday, March 02, 2015

India Infoline calls a ‘Buy’ on Colgate
CMP: Rs. 1943    Target Rs. 2170

Strong market share gains in toothpaste segment: Colgate continues to dominate the oral care industry with strong 50%+ market share despite increased competition in the oral care space. Colgate has developed significant entry barriers by means of distribution (5mn+ outlets) and branding efforts. It has successfully driven both penetration and premiumisation in the Indian markets, leading to consistent gross margin gains and 600bps+ increase in toothpaste market share at ~56% since 2008. It has aggressively marketed products like Colgate Sensitive, Colgate Pro-Relief and Colgate Total where prices are 2‐5x that of the base Colgate Dental Cream. Premium products now contribute ~10% to sales compared to negligible numbers a few years ago. We believe the premiumisation focus w ill help Colgate improve margins as these products gain scale.

Low penetration levels offer opportunity to grow further: Indian oral care industry is highly under-penetrated especially in the rural markets. Companies are using these low penetration levels as an opportunity to grow the market. The per capita consumption (PCC) level in India is very low at 137gms/year compared to 277gms in China and 561gms in USA. In rural India PCC is ~1/3rd that of urban India. We believe increasing rural penetration, shift in demand from toothpowder to toothpaste and rising urban PCC levels will continue to drive volume growth for the toothpaste category. Being the market leader, Colgate is expected to benefit most (economy brand ‘Cibaca’ has strong presence in the rural markets). Dominant position in the oral care industry… Recommend BUY: With its robust brand equity, innovative launches and products across pricepoints, Colgate continues to dominate the industry. The entry of P&G has not affected Colgate in a significant manner so far. We expect Colgate to increase its focus on the personal care (Palmolive) and household care (Axion) segments which will further drive growth. The mouthwash category (Colgate Plax) which is nascent is also expected to develop over the longer term and add to profits. We expect Colgate to witness ~12%/23% revenue/PAT CAGR over FY15-17, driven by healthy volume growth and price/mix gains. Recommend Buy.

Edelweiss calls a ‘Buy’ on Titan Company
CMP: Rs. 421    Target Rs. 491

Our recent meeting with Mr Bhaskar Bhat, MD of Titan Company (Titan) bolsters our confidence that Titan is well placed to be ahead of curve in its offerings. The company will benefit from gold on lease coming back. It has also revised the minimum monthly installment of the revised Golden Harvest Scheme (GHS) to INR2,000 from INR5,000 to make it more appealing to consumers. Titan is gearing up to counter the e-commerce threat with its omni-channel strategy and tie-ups with many online players. The company is laying more emphasis on digital and e-commerce in jewellery for working women wear (like Mia) than on traditional categories like wedding or high-value ornaments. Accordingly, it is levering the digital platform to enhance consumer convenience and experience. In our view, Titan is one of the best plays in the discretionary consumer space. Maintain ‘BUY’.

Well-strategised to drive future: Titan continues to evaluate opportunities and has chalked out a five-year strategic plan to drive future growth. The company’s omni-channel strategy will ensure its presence across channels. It is already present in e-commerce through its own website and tie-ups with many online players. Titan’s central e-commerce team and segment-specific e-commerce strategies are also geared to combat emerging online competition.

Regulatory headwinds largely behind: The RBI has given the nod for re-introduction of the gold on lease model. Though come back of gold on lease will not materially change Titan’s cost of debt (had reduced costs to 3-4% due to international hedging), it will provide a natural hedge and lower debt. Any reduction in customs duty on gold will reduce smuggling, but could negatively impact players in the near term as they will need to book inventory losses.
Outlook and valuations: Bright; maintain ‘BUY’: Titan remains one of the best plays on revival in urban consumption. The long term growth potential remains strong with full benefits of hedging and gold lease coming into play. We maintain ‘BUY/Sector Outperformer’.

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