Axis Bank posts strong results. Should you buy, hold or sell the stock now?

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Axis Bank shares edged lower on Tuesday, even as India’s fifth largest lender by market value reported a strong set of results for the October-December period driven by strong interest income, higher fees and moderating operating expenses. The Axis Bank stock weakened by Rs 10.3 or 1.1 per cent in early deals to Rs 923.1 apiece on BSE. Brokerages largely have positive views on Axis Bank after the earnings announcement. 

Minutes after the closing bell on Monday, the bank reported a 61.9 per cent year-on-year jump in quarterly net profit to Rs 5,853.1 crore, beating analysts’ estimates. Its net interest income (NII) — or the difference between interest earned and interest paid — increased 32.4 per cent to Rs 11,459.3 crore, according to a regulatory filing.

According to Zee Business research, Axis Bank was estimated to report a quarterly net profit of Rs 5,480 crore and net interest income of Rs 10,900 crore.

Axis Bank’s net interest margin (NIM) — a key measure of profitability for lenders — improved by 30 bps sequentially to 4.26 per cent for the quarter ended December 2022.

What brokerages say on Axis Bank 

UBS on Axis Bank (CMP: 933) 

Maintain Buy, Target raised to Rs 1100 from 1030 

Overall beat supported by margins 

Margin expansion & Operating leverage drive Q3 beat 

Higher yielding loans growing faster 

Management believe internal capital generation sufficient to fund growth 

 

CLSA on Axis Bank (CMP: 933) 

Maintain Buy, Target 1250 

3Q again a big beat, with better margins (+30bps QoQ) & lower opex (just +8% YoY)  

leading to more than 50% core PPOP growth (11% higher than forecast) 

Moderation in opex growth is a clear +ve 

Raise FY24-25CL net profit by 1-3% 

 

Morgan Stanley on Axis Bank (CMP: 933) 

Maintain Overweight, Target raised to 1200 from 1150 

PAT 9% above MSe; beat was all around – NIMs, fees, costs all surprised +vely 

Retail deposits, per LCR, grew 3% QoQ, in line with HDBK/ICBK 

RoA was 1.7%, RoE 16%.  

Val at 1.8x F24e P/BV looks attractive 

 

JP Morgan on Axis Bank (CMP: 933) 

Maintain Overweight, Target raised to 1100 from 990 

 

Jefferies on Axis Bank (CMP: 933) 

Maintain Buy, Target raised to 1170 from 1110 

 

HSBC on Axis Bank (CMP: 933) 

Maintain Buy, Target raised to 1200 from 1188 

 

Macquarie on Axis Bank (CMP: 933) 

Maintain Neutral, Target 790 

Earnings beat due to better performance on margins 

Weak liabilities franchise a concern 

Loan growth is lagging its larger peers 

Well capitalised – still believe there is a chance of capital raising by end of 4QFY23 

(This story will be updated shortly)

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