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Salary hike! No lay offs at Asian Paints this year; stock closes 2% higher

BusinessToday.In     May 15, 2020

Asian Paints share price closed higher in trade today amid reports that the firm will go ahead with its annual salary increments. India's largest paint maker also said it will not layoff employees even as corporates are  firing workers and cutting pay to survive the economic crisis arising out of rising coronavirus cases across the world.

Share price of Asian Paints gained up to 2.14% to Rs 1,554 compared to the previous close of Rs 1,522 on BSE. The stock closed 2.04% or Rs 31 higher at Rs 1553 in an otherwise flat market.

Asian Paints share is trading lower than 5 day, 20 day, 50 day, 100 day and 200 day moving averages. Asian Paints share has lost 13.08% since the beginning of this year and gained 18.82% during the last one year. Total 0.64 lakh shares of Asian Paints changed hands amounting to turnover of Rs 9.80 crore on BSE.

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Market cap of the firm rose to Rs 1.48 lakh crore. The stock climbed to its 52 week high of Rs 1,915 on March 9, 2020 and 52 week low of Rs 1,291 on July 9, 2019.

However, Asian Paints stock was downgraded to sell with a target price of Rs 1,111 compared to the market price of Rs 1,569 by Goldman Sachs on May 12. The brokerage sees a downside of 29.19% to the market price.

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The brokerage forecasted FY22E & FY23 volume growth to be 1.5 times of real GDP growth (lower than long-term average of 1.7 times) as consumers are likely to push back re-painting given slowdown and COVID-19 concerns.

Goldman Sachs also expects volume growth to slow to an average of 6% over the next 3 years. It expects price/mix growth to fall to -4% in FY21E. Valuations of the stock look demanding at a FY22 P/E of 47 times versus our coverage average of 39 times with EPS CAGR (FY19-22E) potential of 15% (peers 12%), the brokerage said.

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