Mumbai: Ahead of the first quarter results of Reliance Industries, due on Friday, top brokerages and analysts have predicted an average rise in net profits of 5.5 percent over the like period of last year, with the maximum jump seen at 10 percent.
Sequentially, though, all the 16 such forecasts by firms like Citi, HSBC, Nomora, JP Morgan and Kotak, see a fall ranging between 5.5 percent and 15.5 percent (for the first quarter of this financial year over the last quarter of the previous one). The average is (-)11.3 percent.
With the bulk of the company's fortunes dependent on the oil economy, all the analysts see a good gross refining margin for the company -- the difference between the crude oil price and value of petroleum products coming out of the refinery -- in the range of $9 to $10.3 per barrel.
The analysis show that the average gross refining margin is down from $10.8 of March 2016 and also from $10.4 of the June 2015 quarter. While Merrill Lynch has the most aggressive estimate, Elara Securities has a more conservative outlook.
In terms of absolute numbers, the profit after tax for the quarter ended June 30, JP Morgan is the most aggressive with an estimate of Rs 6,927 crore, while Citi is the most bearish at Rs 6,187 crore. The average predicted is Rs 6,566 crore.
Some of the analysts have also evaluated the company's petrochemicals segment and expected it to put up a strong performance, thanks to higher volumes and stronger margins in certain products. This, some brokerages feel, can surpass the historical high in the January-March 2016 quarter.
As regards what to do with the stock, five have buy calls, and one each advice hold and sale.
Disclosure: Firstpost is part of Network18 Media & Investment Limited which is owned by Reliance Industries Limited.