India Infoline had issued two different recommendations on Punj Lloyd to its clients on the same day
Have you ever come in contact with someone who advises you to buy and sell the same thing at the same time? No, then welcome to the world of Indian retail brokerages. One such brokerage, India Infoline, has come out with two different reports on Punj Lloyd Ltd on the same day but with opposite recommendations.
Both the reports, whose copies are with Moneylife, were published on 31 May 2010. In one report, India Infoline wanted institutional investors to 'sell' (which according to its recommendation structure meant, "Absolute-stock expected to fall by more than 10% over a 1-year horizon") shares of Punj Lloyd. It also gave a 12-month target price of Rs97 or 29% lower than the current trading price of Rs137 as on 28th May.
On the other hand, India Infoline's second report, issued on the same date and on the same company for its private client group recommended to 'buy' Punj Lloyd shares with a target price of Rs158 as against the closing price at the end of 28th May of Rs137. There was no time frame or limit mentioned for the target price in this report. According to India Infoline's recommendations parameters mentioned in this report, a 'buy' meant absolute return of over +10% (no time frame or limit mentioned).
For its private client group, the brokerage advised: "With a robust order book, the company is well covered for the next couple of years. The company does not have any legacy orders remaining to be executed and Punj Lloyd is shifting projects from Simon Carves to the parent entity. We expect the company's PBT to witness 74% CAGR over FY09-12E. We reduce our target price to Rs158 per share from Rs198 per share earlier to reflect concerns on extended period of non-billing its client and slow execution rate. However the recent correction in the price provides room for upside, hence we recommend high-risk investors to take exposure in the stock."
When contacted, Harshad Apte, India Infoline's vice president for corporate communications, said, "Both these reports are in fact, targeted and sent to two separate set of customers and also both these recommendations are for differing time horizons. One of the recommendations (IIFL Private Client Group) is for the retail clients and carries a shorter time horizon while the other one is meant for institutional clients and is for a longer time horizon."
There is no period mentioned in the report for the private client group. However, it is assumed that all brokerages use 12 months as standard period for target price.
So, the question still remains as to why the brokerage wants one group of its clients to sell and other to buy Punj Lloyd shares? Maybe the brokerage-and its clients-knew better.
Inside story of the National Stock Exchange’s amazing success, leading to hubris, regulatory capture and algo scam