Profit-booking in Axis Bank after strong Q3 results, stock slumps 2%


Shares of slipped 2 per cent to Rs 918 in Tuesday’s intra-day trade, on profit booking, after the bank reported 62 per cent year-on-year (YoY) jump in standalone net profit to Rs 5,853 crore for the October-December quarter (Q3FY23).

The private sector lender’s net interest income rose 32 per cent YoY to Rs 11,459 crore, whereas net interest margin was at 4.26 per cent, up 73 basis points YoY, and 30 bps sequentially.

On the asset quality front, the bank reported improvement with gross NPA ratio at 2.38 per cent as on December 31, down from 2.5 per cent a quarter ago and 3.17 per cent, a year ago. The net NPA ratio, meanwhile, was at 0.47 per cent versus 0.51 per cent a quarter ago and 0.91 per cent a year ago. The bank’s fresh slippages increased slightly to Rs 38.1 billion; however, healthy recoveries and upgrades led to an improvement in asset quality ratios.

With Tuesday’s decline, the stock price of corrected 6 per cent from its record high level of Rs 970.45, which it had touched on January 4, 2023. However, in the past three months, the stock outperformed market as shares surged 26 per cent, as compared to 9 per cent rise in the S&P BSE Sensex.

Analysts at Motilal Oswal Financial Services believe that delivered a stable performance in Q3FY23, driven by margin expansion, high other income and improving cost metrics.

“Business growth was healthy, led by the corporate segment. Asset quality continued to improve, even as slippages increased marginally, compensated by healthy recoveries and upgrades. The restructure book moderated further, while a higher provisioning buffer provided comfort,” the brokerage firm said, maintaining a ‘buy’ rating on the stock, with target price of Rs 1,130 per share.

Analysts at ICICI Securities, on the other hand, said that Axis Bank’s business and operational performance was robust.

“Asset quality trend continued to improve. Continued healthy growth momentum coupled with margin expansion remains positive. Traction in secured retail disbursements will be watched, going ahead,” the brokerage firm added.


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