About the Company

STL, Sterlite Technologies Limited (Formerly Sterlite Tech) is a digital technology multinational company having offices in India, China, the US, SEA, Europe, and MEA. It has more than 270 patents and serving customers in over 150 countries, including Fortune 100. The company is specialized in optical fiber and cables, hyper-scale network design, and deployment and network software and offers bespoke integrated solutions for global data networks of CSPs, Telcos, and OTTs. STL has also partnered with global telecom companies, cloud companies, citizen networks, and large enterprises to design, build, and manage such a cloud-native software-defined network. It has a strong global presence with next-gen optical preform, fiber, and cable manufacturing facilities in India, Italy, China and Brazil, and two software-development centers.

Q4FY20 Updates

Financial Results & Highlights

Standalone Financials (In Crs)
Q4FY20 Q4FY19 YoY % Q3FY20 QoQ % FY20 FY19 YoY%
Sales 1049.2 1800.93 -41.74% 1118.35 -6.18% 4793.44 4897.47 -2.12%
PBT 83.4 293.24 -71.56% 86.21* -3.26% 542.21* 811.32 -33.17%
PAT 71.12 193.04 -63.16% 64.8 9.75% 433.52 535.23 -19.00%
Consolidated Financials (In Crs)
Q4FY20 Q4FY19 YoY % Q3FY20 QoQ % FY20 FY19 YoY%
Sales 1170.46 1804.36 -35.13% 1208.68 -3.16% 5188.7 5124.12 1.26%
PBT 90.29 247.79 -63.56% 70.92* 27.31% 541.6* 863.54 -37.28%
PAT 77.17 165.64 -53.41% 51.81 48.95% 432.72 585.38 -26.08%

* Contains Exceptional Item of an additional provision for Rs 50.71 Cr.


Detailed Results

    1. The quarter saw a severe revenue decline of 35% YoY in consolidated terms but FY20 revenues were flat at 1.26% YoY.
    2. Consolidated net profit declined 53% YoY and 26% YoY for the quarter and FY20 periods respectively.
    3. The current order book stands at Rs 10037 Cr. The proportion of new product to revenue stood at 20%.
    4. Within FY20, the company
      1. Acquired IDS Group which is a data center design and deployment specialist
      2. Invested in ASOCS which is a pioneer in virtual Radio Access Networks
      3. Partnered with VMware which a leading provider of the cloud virtualization infrastructure.
      4. Contracted with VVDN which is a developer of focused radio hardware solutions
      5. Aligned with IIT Madras for research and technological advancements in 5G
    5. The company was the first fibre manufacturer in the world to achieve zero waste to landfill certification across glass, fibre, and cable manufacturing companies around the world.
    6. Exports accounted for 35% of revenues in FY20. The company also announced a final dividend of Rs 3.5 per share for FY20.
    7. The company launched stellar, Trueribbon, LEAD360, pFTTx, and dTelco in FY20.
    8. Top 20 customers account for 70% of revenues for the company.
    9. The client base breakup is as follows:
      1. Telcos: 50%
      2. Enterprises: 23%
      3. Citizen Networks: 24%
      4. Cloud Players: 2%
    10. The completion of various data network projects for the company are as follows:
      1. Intrusion Proof Smarter Network for Indian Army: 100%
      2. Network Modernisation for Indian Navy: 76%
      3. MAHANET: 74%
      4. T-Fibre for Telangana: 3%
      5. FTTH rollout for a large Indian Telco: 1%
    11. The company expects fibre demand to rise form 2021 onwards and 5G deployment cycle to last around 8-10 years.
    12. The order book spread across customer segments is as follows:
      1. Telcos:                    39%
      2. Citizen networks: 45%
      3. Enterprises:           16%
      4. Cloud:                       3%
    13. Around Rs 4000 Cr of the order book is to be collected in FY21 while the rest is beyond FY21.
    14. The company is carrying cash & cash equivalents of Rs 478 Cr as of 31st March 2020.
    15. The company has also announced open market buyback with a max buyback price of Rs 150 per share.

Investor Conference Call Highlights

  1. The company had launched Stellar fibre which is the first universal fibre in the world.
  2. The company is focussing on 3 key areas which are key account management to drive wallet share, tech-led end to end solutions to address larger customer set and partnerships & investments to enhance capabilities.
  3. All of the company’s plants in the word remain operational.
  4. The management is confident that the company has enough cash reserves to meet its fixed costs if the lockdown is extended.
  5. The management expects fibre demand to go down in H1FY21 mainly due to logistical issues.
  6. The management believes that the COVID-19 impact should transform digital communications and shall provide an inflection point for change in the communications sphere.
  7. Data demand has risen 30-40% since the start of COVID-19. This should drive data providers to make more and more resilient networks.
  8. Cloud migration and work from home phenomenon are also bringing in demand for low latency networks and cloud infrastructure.
  9. Data traffic is also shifting to residential areas and thus the demand for fibre for home is expected to rise.
  10. The management expects large telcos to be the frontrunners in the 5g expansion.
  11. The three key trends going forward according to the management are:
    1. Significant network expansion by telcos driven by data growth which should spur deep fibre growth
    2. Large scale network creation by non-telco companies like cloud companies, campus connectivity by large enterprises and government institutions, data centers, etc
    3. The emergence of open-source software expected to drive next-gen data networks.
  12. The management is looking to defer Capex for the cable side for 6-9 months. The company is also looking to undergo cost optimization.
  13. The negative impact of COVID-19 on revenues is estimated to be Rs 170 Cr.
  14. The company has also delivered Rs 100 Cr of free cash flow in FY20.
  15. The management expects project progress to be slow in Q1 and to come back to its normal pace in Q2 onwards.
  16. Realizations have stayed flat QoQ while utilization was ta 80-85% of capacity before expansion.
  17. The management has stated that the shift to software was mainly to remove the dependence on fibre realizations which are mostly out of the company’s hands.
  18. The working capital stretch in Q4 was mainly due to the lack of sales and project implementation in the last 2 weeks in March.
  19. The CAPEX for FY21 is expected to be Rs 500 Cr which is largely on fibre side.
  20. The management has guided for total net debt reduction for the year forward. The management wants to set debt to equity target of less than 1.
  21. Only fibre sales are less than 10% of total revenues. Thus broad market rate for pure fibre sales does not affect the company’s margin as much as it did a few years ago.
  22. The utilization is expected to be around 90-95% of non-expanded capacity.
  23. The depreciation right now is taking the expansion into account fully.
  24. The company does not have any plans for issuing any dollar-denominated debt or foreign investment yet.
  25. The revenue breakup between products & services is 40:60 but it is moving more towards an integrated solution involving both products and services.
  26. The T-Fibre project is of Rs 1500 Cr and it is expected by FY22.
  27. 52% of sales were in pure-play services while 48% is from products, some of which are sold bundled along with integrated solutions.
  28. The average margin profile of products is 24% while the margin profile for services is 14%. The blended margin profile for integrated solutions should be around 18-19%.
  29. Out of Rs 500 Cr Capex, 225-250 Cr is for fibre, 50-60 Cr is for sustainable while 200 Cr is for cable.
  30. The management believes that the ROCE of 20-22% is definitely sustainable for the company.
  31. Close to 20% of the order book is from the government of India specifically Bharatnet.
  32. Right now only 30% of towers in India are connected with fibre. The current focus for India is expected to be largely on strengthening and enhancing the range of 4G before going for 5G.

Analyst’s View

Sterlite Technologies saw a big revenue and profit decline in the current quarter. The company has had a dismal quarter mainly due to delays in sales and project implementation in the last 2 weeks of March. The management expects Q1 to be tough for the company with subdued demand mainly due to logistical issues. The way forward for the communications industry seems to have been pushed towards data much faster due to COVID-19. As remote working and cloud infrastructure becomes more and more relevant, the demand for an end to end network solutions providers like Sterlite is also expected to rise. The company is making good investments and partnerships in the industry to enhance its capabilities and take advantage of the upcoming demand wave for stronger networks and more and more data centers. It remains to be seen how the uncertainty around COVID-19 unravels and how fast will the company be able to adapt and take advantage of the post COVID world. Nonetheless, given the company’s capabilities in providing integrated and tailored network solutions, its expanded production capacity, and long-running order, Sterlite Technologies looks like a pivotal stock to watch out for in the communications technology space.


 

 

 

Q3 2020 Updates

Financial Results & Highlights

Standalone Financials (In Crs)
Q3FY20 Q3FY19 YoY % Q2FY20 QoQ % 9MFY20 9MFY19 YoY%
Sales 1118.35 1241.25 -9.90% 1271.37 -12.04% 3744.24 3096.54 20.92%
PBT 86.21* 198.28 -56.52% 163.18 -47.17% 458.81 518.08 -11.44%
PAT 64.8 129.57 -49.99% 159.97 -59.49% 362.4 342.19 5.91%
Consolidated Financials (In Crs)
Q3FY20 Q3FY19 YoY % Q2FY20 QoQ % 9MFY20 9MFY19 YoY%
Sales 1208.88 1345.3 -10.14% 1368.83 -11.69% 4018.24 3319.76 21.04%
PBT 70.92* 225.71 -68.58% 162.9 -56.46% 451.31 615.75 -26.71%
PAT 51.81 149.71 -65.39% 159.56 -67.53% 355.56 419.74 -15.29%

* Contains Exceptional Item of an additional provision for Rs 50.71 Cr.


Detailed Results

    1. The quarter saw a moderate revenue decline of 10% YoY in consolidated terms but 9M revenues were up 21% YoY.
    2. Consolidated net profit declined 65% YoY and 15% YoY for the quarter and 9M periods respectively.
    3. PAT in the quarter was down mainly due to a provision of Rs 50.71 Cr made by the company towards the settlement of a pending litigation.
    4. The company has completed 65% of the Indian Navy project and 55% of the Mahanet project has been delivered.
    5. It was awarded a T-fiber project for Rs 1100 Cr to provide digital infrastructure to 6 million citizens of rural Telangana.
    6. The company acquired a 12.8% stake in ASOCS which is a pioneer in radio wireless networks to expand the company’s expertise in wireless networks.
    7. Exports for the company stood at 31% of revenue in the quarter.
    8. EBITDA for Q3 declined 17% QoQ and 18.75% YoY. This was because both volumes and realizations declined in the quarter. The company hopes to stop this volume decline by entering into new markets and improve realization by instituting cost reduction in optical fiber. It has also introduced Project Junoon to do the same.
    9. The current order book stands at Rs 8535 Cr. The proportion of new product to revenue stood at 20%.
    10. The client base breakup is as follows:
      • Telcos: 52%
      • Enterprises: 22%
      • Citizen Networks: 24%
      • Cloud Players: 2%

Investor Conference Call Highlights

  1. Global Telco industry saw a pause in Capex in 2019 due to the transition from 4G to 5G while global fiber demand fell 17%.
  2. The company sees profitability rising for the Indian telecom industry due to the rise in tariffs earlier this year.
  3. The management expects the demand for fiber to rise in the year going forward as Capex for the industry resumes. The management also expects this mainly because the requirement for optical fiber is far higher in 5G networks as compared to previous 4G networks.
  4. The company also expects the business from the citizen networks to grow going forward as part of the BharatNet mission.
  5. The company is operating at 46% utilization of the expanded optical fiber capacity and 76% utilization in cable capacity in Q3.
  6. The management expects the demand for the industry to remain subdued till H2FY21 but the company plans to expand sales volumes by expanding into new geographies.
  7. The company’s new product Trueribbon which was launched last year is received well in the industry. The company has also launched StellarFibre which is the industry’s first universal fiber in October.
  8. The margins in the services business have improved to 17% and the projects continue to yield 20-22% and the management expects the margins to improve further as the scale of operations expands.
  9. The company expects a rise in domestic demand for optical fiber in the near future.
  10. The company has opted for a flat 25% tax rate.
  11. 63% of the new order book is in new projects which are expected to have a time period of 12-18 months while the rest 37% is in O&M which is to distribute evenly across 7 years.
  12. The company is shifting its focus to value-added and specialized products to earn higher realization.
  13. The current days of receivables for the company stands at 100 days. The company has received Rs 133 Cr from its Rs 300 Cr dues from BSNL in Q3. The rest of the dues is expected to be received in the next 6 months.
  14. The management has maintained that their capacity utilization for FY20 should be almost flat YoY.
  15. The management has indicated that the company does not have any new Capex plans and it will concentrate on completing existing plans for the time being.
  16. The management expects the leverage of the company to come down going forward as no new Capex is being planned.
  17. The management expects capacity utilization in FY21 to reach 75%-80% of the expanded capacity.
  18. The management expects QoQ revenue growth in Q4 due to greater geographical reach and anticipated volume growth from advance orders and expected project revenues.
  19. The management maintains that it is confident of achieving good performance in the near future.

Analyst’s View

Sterlite Technologies saw severe revenue decline in the current quarter. The sales volume for the company has been contracting and the management has indicated that it expects volumes to stay flat for the year. Despite the dismal quarter, the company saw encouraging signs from the good acceptance of its value-added products like Trueribbon and Stellarfibre. The company plans to overturn this fall in volumes by expanding and selling in new geographies that it has reached this year. Furthermore, it is also looking to enhance its realization by engaging and instituting cost savings initiatives. The company’s performance in the services business has been encouraging with the company expecting to gain more orders both from defense forces and citizen networks. It remains to be seen whether the company will be able to bounce back as quickly as the management expects. But given the company’s market position and the increasing importance of fast and secure networks going forward, Sterlite Technologies remains a potentially good growth stock to watch out for.


Q2 2020 Updates

Financial Results & Highlights

Standalone Financials (In Crs)
Q2FY20 Q2FY19 YoY % Q1FY20 QoQ % H1FY20 H1FY19 YoY%
Sales 1271.37 1021.35 24.48% 1354.52 -6.14% 2625.89 1855.29 41.54%
PBT 163.18 165.72 -1.53% 209.42 -22.08% 372.6 319.8 16.51%
PAT 159.97 108 48.12% 137.63 16.23% 297.6 212.52 40.03%
Consolidated Financials (In Crs)
Q2FY20 Q2FY19 YoY % Q1FY20 QoQ % H1FY20 H1FY19 YoY%
Sales 1368.8 1090.3 25.54% 1440.73 -4.99% 2809.56 1974.48 42.29%
PBT 162.89 205.74 -20.83% 217.8 -25.21% 380.29 390 -2.49%
PAT 159.56 140.57 13.51% 144.18 10.67% 303.73 270 12.49%

 


Detailed Results

    1. The quarter saw good revenue growth of 25% YoY in consolidated terms.
    2. Profit growth was dismal with PBT declining 1.5% YoY and 21% YoY in standalone and consolidated terms.
    3. PAT growth in the quarter was mainly due to a reduction in taxes for the company.
    4. The company has commissioned a new glass manufacturing plant in Aurangabad.
    5. It has also completed the Kakinada Smart City project.
    6. The company acquired the IDS group in the UK marking STL’s entry into specialized Inside Data Centre space with design and deployment capability.
    7. Exports for the company stood at 38% of revenue. The export revenues also rose 33% YoY.
    8. The EBITDA for the quarter also rose 7% YoY while ROCE stands at 23%.
    9. The number of patents for the company rose to 283
    10. The current order book stands at Rs 8132 Cr. The proportion of new product to revenue stood at 20%.
    11. The client base breakup is as follows:
      • Telcos: 56%
      • Enterprises: 23%
      • Citizen Networks: 20%
      • Cloud Players: 2%

Investor Conference Call Highlights

  1. The company had 3 launches in the network services division which were 360 degrees 2.0, FTTx Mantra and iCore.
  2. In connectivity solutions, the company launched TruRibbon and Stellar Fibre.
  3. The company added 26 new customers in the quarter.
  4. The company has noted trends in the telecom industry which suggest that most telcos are taking a pause and delaying Capex investments. The company expects the structural demand drivers for our industry to remain intact and the telco Capex to grow once the 5G investment cycle starts.
  5. The global consumption of fiber is expected to stay muted as compared to last year.
  6. The management expects flat volumes for the year due to low order booking and signs of customers delaying pickup of other existing order books.
  7. The company also expects some pricing pressures on contract renegotiations for 2020 because of the short-term industry oversupply situation.
  8. The management remains confident of the company’s position in the industry based on its product portfolio and end to end service offerings.
  9. The management wants to highlight the clear opportunity for the company as 25 countries as looking to offer multicity commercially available 5G services by the end of this year and the overall addressable market of more than $ 75 billion for the company by 2023.
  10. The management has also mentioned that they may bring down debt by Rs 300 Cr in the year.
  11. The utilization rate for the fiber plant was at 100% with 7 million in volumes. In terms of cable, the utilization rate was at 80% with volumes of 18 million. The cost of realization was at $7.
  12. The management has guided that they will be looking for flat revenues and volumes for the year with margins >20%.
  13. The total capacity in optical fiber is around 50 million with cables at 18 million which is set to rise to 33 million by June 2020.
  14. The navy and MahaNet projects are on schedule and the company may even be able to complete before estimated deadlines. The company has also added almost Rs 7000 Cr of opportunities to its funnel in H1FY20.
  15. The new tax rate for the company is at 25% and the company has a deferred tax liability of Rs 15 Cr.
  16. The company is looking to start international projects with a size of around Rs 100-200 Cr.
  17. The management is expecting the demand environment to revive in FY21 and thus they are going forward with their proposed capex plans.
  18. In new contracts, the realization of the optical fiber is at $6 to $6.5.
  19. The R&D spend for the year till date is around Rs 85-90 Cr.
  20. Services revenue for the quarter was roughly at Rs 950 Cr which accounts for 50% of total revenues for the company.
  21. The growth for this year is expected to be driven by growth in services revenue while product revenue is expected to be flat for the year.
  22. The management has stated that the services business margin profile is better than the 11% that they had achieved last year.
  23. The company is getting timely collection on its due from BSNL with collection of close to Rs 300 Cr done.
  24. The margin for the product business is around 25%.
  25. Close to Rs 800 Cr has been deferred and taken out of the order book.
  26. The company is in talks with Reliance Jio and is expected to derive some business from the rollout of Jio fiber offerings.

Analyst’s View

Sterlite Technologies has been able to continue its revenue expansion in the current quarter. But the margin profile for the company has fallen YoY, largely due to the increase in the services business and its contribution to total revenues. The company has guided that they expect the volumes to stay flat this year and this should prove to be a dampener for the company. The management has expressed that the company’s growth in the rest of the year is to be driven by the services businesses. It remains to be seen whether the company will be able to expand its services business at the pace that they are projecting. Nonetheless, given the company’s expertise and industry position and the enormous opportunity for the company in the upcoming 5G transition, Sterlite Technologies remains an investment prospect to keep an eye out for.  Valuation has come down drastically in the last year due to various reasons. It would be interesting to see how it fares in the next couple of quarters in terms of revenue mix, margin profile and ROE.


 

 

Q1 2020 Updates

Financial Results & Highlights

Standalone Financials (In Crs)
Q1FY20 Q1FY19 YoY % Q4FY19 QoQ %
Sales 1354.52 833.44 62.52% 1800.93 -24.79%
PBT 209.42 154 35.99% 293.24 -28.58%
PAT 137.63 104.49 31.72% 193 -28.69%

 

Consolidated Financials (In Crs)
Q1FY20 Q1FY19 YoY % Q4FY19 QoQ %
Sales 1440.73 884.14 62.95% 1804.36 -20.15%
PBT 217.5 184.3 18.01% 247.79 -12.22%
PAT 142.87 128.48 11.20% 163.17 -12.44%

 


Detailed Results

    1. The quarter saw good revenue growth of 63% YoY in both standalone and consolidated terms.
    2. Profit growth was at 32% YoY and 11% YoY in standalone and consolidated terms.
    3. The company has successfully implemented a pan India communications network for the Indian Navy.
    4. They have also commissioned their integrated “Silicon to Fibre” plant in June 2019.
    5. The company has launched Intellza which is a business intelligence data solutions product for telecom companies.
    6. Exports for the company stood at 36% of revenue. The export revenues also rose 33% YoY.
    7. The EBITDA for the quarter also rose 32% YoY while ROCE stands at 28%.
    8. The number of patents for the company rose to 273 which has risen 45% YoY.
    9. The client base breakup is as follows:
      • Telcos: 56%
      • Enterprises: 25%
      • Citizen Networks: 18%
      • Cloud Players: 1%
    10. The current order book stands at Rs 9853 Cr.

Investor Conference Call Highlights

  1. The company has emphasized that each of the top 25 cities in USA needs at least 6-7 million km of fibre to achieve 5G integration.
  2. India’s per capita fiberization is 17 times lower than the USA and 14 times lower than China, thus emphasizing the huge opportunity for fiberization in the country.
  3. The new facility will be brought up to full capacity by the end of this year.
  4. The company is also doubling their capacity in their Italian plant.
  5. The plan to expand total capacity from 18 million km to 33 million km is on track to be completed by June 2020.
  6. The new products to revenue ratio was 21% in the current quarter.
  7. The main reason for the dip in QoQ numbers is due to lower revenues in the services business due to timing issues where most contracts get recognized in March.
  8. The early commissioning of the new plant has also led to higher depreciation for the quarter.
  9. India and EU remain important target markets for the company.
  10. The new orders coming in this quarter stood at Rs 750 Cr.
  11. The breakup of revenues stands at 60:40 for product and services respectively.
  12. The net debt for the company stands at Rs 1980 Cr currently.
  13. The company broadly ran at almost full capacity for the current quarter.
  14. The order book breakup is almost 55-57% is from products while the rest is from services.
  15. The company expects good revenue in this year as they are yet to complete the Mahanet and Indian Navy projects.
  16. The company is also going to undergo capex of Rs 550 Cr. The debt to equity is expected to stay around 1.
  17. The working capital days has risen a bit in the current quarter.
  18. The company is also anticipating margin appreciation in the cable product business due to higher instances of customized cable orders.
  19. The EBITDA margin is expected to stay above 20% for the year due to the current revenue mix. The company is also targeting to keep ROCE above 25% at all times.

Analyst’s View

Sterlite Technologies is continuing on the path of revenue and profit expansion as new projects are getting executed. The company has done well to bring up the revenue contribution of the services segment to 40% of total revenues. Market was worried about the promoter group pledging of shares for some time. In the month of June, the company has resolved that by removing the pledge. Sterlite Tech has time and again emphasized the potential for growth of its segment in India and it is in pole position to capture any such opportunity. This is evident from the big projects of Mahanet and Indian Navy. But the road to this big opportunity is still long and it remains to be seen how market reacts to these development going forward. At the moment, the price of the shares reflect extreme pessimism from investors. It seems like there is still an overhang of the pledging issue in the minds of investors. Nonetheless, Sterlite Technologies is a company to watch out for any investor believing in the theme of optical fibre networks and 5G transition for India.

 


 

Q4 2019 Updates

Financial Results & Highlights

Standalone Financials (In Crs)
Q4FY19 Q4FY18 YoY % Q3FY19 QoQ % FY19 FY18 %  Change
Sales 1800.93 785.16 129.37% 1241.25 45.09% 4897.47 2930.6 67.11%
PBT 293.24 130.35 124.96% 198.28 47.89% 811.32 367.24 120.92%
PAT 193.04 98.8 95.38% 129.67 48.87% 535.23 254.68 110.16%

 

Consolidated Financials (In Cr)
Q4FY19 Q4FY18 YoY % Q3FY19 QoQ % FY19 FY18 %  Change
Sales 1804.36 863.81 108.88% 1345.3 34.12% 5124.12 3244.76 57.92%
PBT 247.79 159.74 55.12% 225.71 9.78% 863.54 501.66 72.14%
PAT 165.64 123.54 34.08% 149.71 10.64% 577.79 364.13 58.68%


Detailed Results

    1. The company has delivered another stellar quarter with more than 100% growth in revenues both in standalone and consolidated levels.
    2. Overall FY19 consolidated revenues were up 58% YoY with consolidated PAT growing 59% YoY.
    3. The order book is at an all-time high at Rs 10,516 Cr.
    4. The company has also launched 6 new solutions and 35 new customer wins.
    5. In the fibre deployment space, the company saw YoY growth of 13% in EU, 16% in India and 7% in LATAM and Middle East.
    6. The company has also reduced their dependence on Telco industry with newer customer segments of enterprise solutions and citizen networks increasing their revenue share from 15% in FY19 to 37% in FY20.
    7. The company has also increased their optical fibre capacity to 50 million km from 30 million km in FY18.
    8. The company has also increased their patent tally to 271 from 234 a year ago.

Investor Conference Call Highlights

  1. The company has maintained that their exposure to the China fibre slowdown is small as China revenues only account for <5% of overall revenues.
  2. The company has partnered with two top telco companies in India for their BSS/OSS software platform. They have also secured network rollout under the Bharat Net and Smart Cities initiatives in Maharashtra.
  3. The company’s new silicon to fibre plant is under final installation and should start production from Q2 this year.
  4. The company’s acquisition of Metallurgica Bresciana has significantly improved their reach into EU markets and they are observing good synergies between their India and Italy plants.
  5. The company sees new demand drivers coming into place. These include increased FTTx penetration in India and EU and the 5G rollout in 2020.
  6. The company is also looking for opportunities in rural connectivity and network modernisation in large state enterprises like Defence, Railways and Oil & Gas.
  7. The company has identified their total addressable market size at $ 75 billion where they currently have <1% market share.
  8. The company is now looking to add new businesses with a less capex intensive model to their umbrella. This should help raise ROCE at the cost of a lower blended EBITDA margin as compared to their current fixed asset heavy business model.
  9. The company expects EBITDA margins in the range of 18%-20% with ROCE >25% from these proposed changes.
  10. The revenue mix for the quarter has been 52% in services and 48% in product sales.
  11. In the product side of the business, the utilization rate currently is now at almost 100%.
  12. The company expects the revenue mix for products and services to reach 50-50 in the next couple of years.
  13. The management has said that the material volumes from the capacity expansion of 10 million fibre km should start from H2FY20 onwards.
  14. The new facility should be running at full capacity by FY21 onwards.
  15. In their product sales mix, almost 70% of it count as exports, most of which go to the EU.
  16. The proposed capex for FY20 should be around Rs 500-550 Cr, most of which would be going to the cable facility.
  17. The rise in receivables of Rs 2500 Cr should be from the contracts from the Indian Navy and the Bharat Net initiative.

Analyst’s View

Sterlite Technologies is in a midst of a transformation where they are moving from an asset heavy products business to a blended product/service provider. This period is critical for the company and the next couple of years will chart its journey for the future. So far, the company has shown good growth in their new business segments and have amassed a massive order book. However it remains to be seen if the momentum carries on going forward as well. The looming threat of the promoter pledge has now gone out of the picture. In a recent communication to stock exchange they have informed about the removal of entire pledge on company’s shares. But the market does not seem to be excited by it. In their recently released Annual Report of FY18-19, they have laid out plans for fund raising in tune of a thousand crores. Hence, FY19-20 would be an interesting year for Sterlite. We at SSS, are also keeping a close watch.

 


 

Q3 2019 Updates

Financial Results & Highlights

Standalone Financials

Particulars (INR Cr) Q3FY19 Q3FY18 YoY Q2FY19 QoQ
Sales 1241.25 763.38 62.60% 1021.85 21.47%
PBT 198.28 98.47 101.36% 165.72 19.65%
PAT 129.67 65.69 97.40% 108.03 20.03%

Consolidated Financials

Q3FY19 Q3FY18 YoY Q2FY19 QoQ
Sales 1345.3 841.91 59.79% 1090.32 23.39%
PBT 225.71 137.39 64.28% 205.74 9.71%
PAT 149.71 99.2 50.92% 140.57 6.50%


Detailed Results

    1. Revenues are up 60% YoY and EBITDA is up 46% YoY. Order Book has crossed Rs 10000 Cr.
    2. Ongoing capacity expansion of 50 million fibre km and 33 million fibre cable.
    3. Maintaining a healthy ROCE of >25%.
    4. Witnessed the best ever quarter for the company with revenues, EBITDA and PAT at highest ever levels.
    5. Have witnessed a 50% growth YoY in European sales and have initiated a partnership with Red Hat to develop open and agile solutions to accelerate telco’s digital transformation.
    6. Have also established a new point of presence in Europe through acquisition of Metallurgica.
    7. Well on track to fulfil strategic aspirations of delivering PAT of $100 million by FY20.

Investor Conference Call Highlights

  1. As networks move from 4G to 5G, global consumption is going up as well, which has led to massive investment and money going in by all cloud players like Google, Microsoft and Amazon.
  2. The industry is ripe for disruptive change as ARPU of telcos remain flat despite high capex by above mentioned companies.
  3. Sterlite maintains specialization in providing high amount of data per user base while keeping capex at reasonable levels.
  4. Management believe that they are uniquely positioned to leverage the increasing consumption of data due to their resident expertise and growing proficiency in being able to create data networks in the most agile and open architecture mode.
  5. Underlying growth in fibre has been 5 times world growth rate, signalling that this market is here to stay.
  6. Sterlite aim to maintain a two pronged approach for the future:
    1. Participate in the data network creation capex wave.
    2. Offering application based solutions leveraging their strong position in optic products and network solutions.
  7. Sterlite’s patents have increased from 212 to 234 this quarter, thus highlighting their commitment to be at the cutting edge in this space.
  8. They expect their addressable market to increase to $75 billion by 2023 from $20 billion in 2017.
  9. Current growth in revenue is being driven from software services orders.
  10. Revenue split is <30% in services and >70% in product.
  11. Current capacity utilization rate is close to 100%.
  12. Sterlite aims to position themselves as an end to end data network solutions provider for all layers.

Analyst’s View

Sterlite Technologies has been on a fast upward trajectory for a while and the management is still optimistic in their forward outlook. The company has recorded their best ever quarter and have increased their order book to record levels highlighting their credentials as one of the industry leaders in their segment. Their renewed push to expand both their physical fibre capacity and their network services segment show their robust forward outlook and their ambition to establish themselves in this upcoming segment. Thus considering how network solutions are going to be increasingly important in the future, Sterlite Technologies is in for the long game and is comfortably positioned to fulfil their aspirations both in the domestic and world stage. Thus, Sterlite Technologies looks like a stellar investment opportunity that is destined to deliver superior returns year after year, given they stay on their defined path and continue to break records both in India and abroad.  Moreover, recent fall in the broader market has brought the stock price to a very reasonable valuation.

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