The price of Syngene shares drops by 3% as UBS downgrades the company to Sell: Three main justifications for UBS’s target price reduction


Syngene International Faces Challenges: UBS Downgrades Stock Amid Global Headwinds In a surprising turn of events, Syngene International witnessed a more than 3% decline in its share price during Tuesday’s intraday trades on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). The cause? UBS Global Research’s decision to downgrade the stock to ‘Sell,’ accompanied by a reduction in the target price from ₹875 to ₹700. This move by UBS, citing revenue growth headwinds, has cast a shadow on the previously optimistic outlook for Syngene International.

UBS Downgrade and Revised Target Price

UBS Global Research’s decision to downgrade Syngene International stems from a cautious perspective on the company’s future performance. The renowned financial institution has revised its target price down to ₹700, reflecting a more than 2% downside from the stock’s closing price of ₹715 on the BSE.

The decline in Syngene’s share price has been a sustained trend since September, following the pinnacle of ₹860.20, marking 52-week highs. This downward trajectory has been exacerbated by the challenging circumstances identified by UBS.

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Three Key Reasons Behind UBS Downgrade

Challenging Global Environment

    Analysts at UBS point to a challenging global environment as a significant factor in the downgrade. The earlier anticipation of easing headwinds for Syngene’s discovery and dedicated segments, which contribute about 60% of the company’s revenue, has not materialized. The outlook remains subdued, with a tough macro economy, tight budgets for large global pharma companies, and muted venture capital (VC) funding for biotech. Recent comments from global Clinical Research companies echo this sentiment, adding further weight to the downgrade.

    Risk of Earnings Cuts

      The reverse Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) for FY25-34 estimate, as per UBS, implies an 18% revenue Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) and 31.5% EBITDA margins. However, UBS identifies near-term risks in these figures. Despite acknowledging Syngene’s structural story, analysts find the risk-reward ratio unattractive, prompting the downgrade from ‘Buy’ to ‘Sell.’ The potential for earnings cuts adds a layer of uncertainty to the immediate future.

      Subdued VC Funding in Biotech

        VC funding for biotech has experienced a downturn in the past few quarters, leading to a reduction in early-stage discovery projects. UBS predicts that this pressure will persist for most of 2024, and given the challenging macroeconomic conditions, Syngene’s revenue exposure to medium-sized and small bio-pharma firms (15-20%) is expected to face significant growth pressure. This aspect contributes to UBS’s cautionary stance on the stock.

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        The Road Ahead: Challenges and Expectations

        Amid tight budgets and weak demand projections for the discovery and dedicated segments, Syngene International is poised to navigate challenging terrain in the near term. The absence of Zoetis’s revenue in 9M FY24, coupled with the persisting tough macroeconomic conditions, may result in mediocre growth for the company in Q4.

        while UBS recognizes Syngene’s structural strengths, the confluence of global challenges, potential earnings cuts, and subdued VC funding in the biotech space has led to a reevaluation of the stock’s potential. Investors are now faced with a nuanced decision as Syngene International grapples with the intricacies of a rapidly evolving global landscape.

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