Tata Steel earnings today: What to expect?

Mumbai: Tata Steel, India’s largest private steel company, is expected to report a consolidated revenue of 35,024.6 crore for the quarter ended December, according to a Bloomberg poll of 12 analysts. Net profit is seen declining to a low of 75.41 crore during the period under review, a poll of 9 analysts found.

The company is expected to announce its earnings for the October-December quarter later today.

While Tata Steel reported a 17% sequential growth and 24% year-on-year rise in domestic steel sales in Q3, it remains to be seen whether realisations have kept pace. Average steel prices in India were down by 2,400 per tonne sequentially last quarter, according to Emkay Global Financial Services Ltd. Tata Steel’s profitability is, thus, expected to have taken a hit in the December quarter.

Global steel prices softened during the December quarter, driven by tepid demand and de-stocking. Chinese steel production and exports moderated during the quarter.

India’s fiscal third quarter crude steel production grew 1.5% YoY, while apparent finished steel consumption grew 8.1%. Imports during this period surged 7.9% on year and exports declined 39.5%.

Integrated steel players in India took a token hike in steel prices of about 750/tonne last quarter, analysts at brokerage JM Financial said. “The sustainability of the price hike in November 2019 will depend on resumption of demand. Anti-dumping kicks in at $489/tonne providing support to hot-rolled coils price at current levels. Declining domestic raw material prices is likely to positively impact domestic spreads.”

Meanwhile, Tata Steel’s performance at its European subsidiaries remained lackluster with sales in the region increasing just 1% sequentially and falling 1.7% from the December 2018 quarter.

Last month, JSW Steel, the other large private steelmaker in India, missed profit estimates for the December quarter by a wide margin, primarily on account of low steel prices. The company reported a consolidated net profit of 187 crore for October-December, 88% lower than the 1,603 crore in the year-ago period.