India’s Tata Motors shares fall 5% as Jaguar Land Rover wholesale volumes falter

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Shares of India’s Tata Motors Ltd fell as much as 4.6% on Monday after its Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) business wholesale volumes fell below expectations, prompting top brokerages to cut price targets and also warn of a slowdown next year.

Tata Motors on Friday said JLR wholesale volumes – excluding its joint venture in China – were 75,307 for the second quarter, while it had in August, projected wholesale volumes to be around 90,000.

The automaker, among the largest in the country, blamed lower-than-expected supply of specialised chips from one supplier for failing to meet its target.

However, it said new deals with semiconductor suppliers would lead to improved sales in the second half of the fiscal year.

“We would need more clarity on the pace of production recovery at JLR to turn constructive,” J.P. Morgan analyst Amyn Pirani wrote in a note, downgrading the rating on Tata Motors to “neutral” from “overweight.”

He also said Tata Motors might not meet its target of 1 billion pounds ($1.11 billion) in free cash flow for JLR.

The brokerage lowered its price target on Tata Motors to 455 Indian rupees ($5.52) from 525 rupees.

Morgan Stanley also reduced its price target by over 11% and forecast a per-share loss of 6.2 Indian rupees for fiscal 2023, compared with a prior estimate of per-share earnings of 21.5 rupees.

In 2023/24, demand for JLR vehicles would come under pressure from a broader industry slowdown with volumes expected to be 22% below 2018 fiscal year levels, Morgan Stanley analyst Binay Singh wrote in a note.

The average rating of 30 analysts covering Tata Motors was “buy” and median price target was 530 rupees, according to Refinitiv.

Shares were last down 3.9% at 395.90 rupees.

($1 = 82.3680 Indian rupees)

($1 = 0.9025 pounds)

(Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Neha Arora)