India’s Tata Motors surges 8% on first quarterly profit in 2 years

BENGALURU, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Shares of Tata Motors Ltd (TAMO.NS), India’s No.3 carmaker by volume, rose as much as 8.2% to a more-than-four-month high on Friday after the company reported its first quarterly profit in two years.

The stock posted its biggest intraday jump in over 8 months, before easing to trade up about 5.2% at 440 rupees as of 12:45 p.m. IST. It was among the top gainers on the benchmark Nifty 50 index (.NSEI), which was down 1.8% on the day.

Tata Motors swung to a surprise profit of 29.58 billion rupees in the October-December quarter, from a loss of 15.16 billion rupees a year before. Analysts were expecting a narrower loss of 185.6 million rupees.

Improving semiconductor supplies and rising demand helped Tata Motors’ luxury car unit, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), turn profitable. JLR contributes more than 60% of overall revenue.

Goldman Sachs said the chips were allotted to the Range Rover and Defender sports utility vehicles (SUV) that have a higher average selling price.

They are also the most profitable models at JLR and helped rake in free cash flow of 490 million pounds, beating the company’s target of 400 million pounds.

Goldman expects that as supplies improve, JLR’s volumes will gradually improve to about 30,000-35,000 units per month from 27,000 currently.

Nomura said besides the healthier sales mix JLR also benefited from a demand rebound in China – a key market for the British automaker.

Goldman rates Tata Motors’ stock “neutral”, while Nomura rates it “buy”, which is also the average rating of the 30 analyst covering the stock, according to Refinitiv data.

Bajaj Auto Ltd (BAJA.NS), among India’s top motorcycles and three-wheelers maker, also reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly profit due to strong domestic demand and higher prices.

Reporting by Nandan Mandayam in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza