Read my earlier analysis of BEL here
The company had an average year in 2007-2008. The sales growth was around 7% and the profit growth was around the same. The net profit margin improved to around 20%. The company maintained the ROE numbers at the 25%+ levels and continues to be a zero debt- cash rich company
The open order book has now increased to 9586 Crs with around 3100 Crs executable in the current year. This provide visibility to around 80% of the annual revenue.
The business is skewed to the fourth quarter due to the projects nature of the business and hence the company accrues almost 60% of its profit in the last quarter.
The company maintained its ROE, margins and other key performance indicators such as order book, Fixed asset Turnover ratio, Raw material costs etc.
In addition the company is now spending almost 5.1% of revenue on R&D and plans to increase it to 8-9% of sales. This is a very positive development as R&D is crucial in this business . BEL is among the very few indian companies which spend on R&D and may have the highest spend in terms of sales. The company has been developing a lot of new products and now gets almost 83% of the turnover from indigenously developed products
The company has conservative accounting for foreign exchange (Company has no derivatives) and charges all changes to the Profit and loss statement.
Finally the company continues to be a debt free company with almost 2400 Crs in cash on the books. Net of cash, the ROE numbers of the company are fairly high, which reflects the strong competitive advantage of the company.
The number that concerns for me is the high level of recievables. The recievables have shot up from around 1000 odd crores in 2005-06 to around 2080 Crs in 2007-08. As a result recievables have consumed almost 60% of the free cash for the last 2 years. This is very discomforting and will have to watched closely. The management has indicated that they are planning to bring it down, however I am still concerned about this number which is now a red flag.
The other concern is the very high skew for the fourth quarter. It is not very healthy to book so much business in a single quarter, especially the year end to make the numbers. Projects type business (for ex: blue star) have higher skews in Q4, however such skew results in poor recievables turns, bad debts and other issues (more on that later).
The company now sells at around 6 times earnings (net of cash). So the market is clearly expecting the company to perform pretty badly. Now this is a company earning very high return on capital, growing in mid to low teens and in a business which is pretty immune to the economy (defence spending). In addition, though private companies are now being allowed in defence since 2001, BEL has been able to do well.
Other than the fact that the company is PSU, I cannot find a reason for almost a 50-60% drop in the stock price (other than that the market as a whole has declined).
Added note : I would not read too much into the Q1 results. As I said earlier in the post, if the company books too much revenue in Q4, the next years Q1 results get impacted.
I have loaded the a detailed analysis of the company in google groups.