CICC revises down target price of BYD shares

Aug. 9 (NBD) -- Stock of Chinese electric-car manufacturer BYD Co Ltd has plunged over 40 percent in Chinese A-share market since March.

The investment banking firm China International Capital Corporation (CICC) Tuesday revised the price target of BYD's A share and H share to 45 yuan (6.6 U.S. dollars) and HK$49 (6.2 U.S. dollars) separately, down from 58 yuan (8.5 U.S. dollars) and HK$61 (7.8 U.S. dollars), while keeping Neutral rating on BYD's stock. 

Even so, CICC is still bullish on the electric car maker and maintains its forecast on the company's net profits in 2018 and 2019 at 3.07 billion yuan (449.4 million U.S. dollars) and 4.66 billion yuan (682.1 million U.S. dollars), respectively.

According to CICC's report, the Shenzhen-based carmaker sold a total of 37,000 vehicles in July this year, with sales of new-energy passenger cars reaching 18,200 units, a year-over year rise of 62.4 percent. Besides, 18,500 fuel vehicles were sold by BYD in the month, up 8.2 percent year on year.

CICC predicted that given the increased subsidy for pure electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, BYD will continue to lead the growth of new-energy passenger vehicle sales. With benefits from the launch of BYD's new models as well as the rising subsidy, the car manufacturer is likely to see a change of performance in the third quarter of this year.

In an effort to revive earning growth, BYD is building new plants to increase capacity.

The company announced Wednesday that its wholly-owned Qinghai subsidiary plans to borrow no more than 620 million yuan (90.8 million U.S. dollars) of idle fund to replenish working capital and will return the amount within 12 months. 

The fund will be used for the construction of BYD's lithium battery plant in Western China's Qinghai Province. 

In July 2016, BYD issued about 252.1 million shares through non-public offering to raise a total of 14.37 billion yuan (2.1 billion U.S. dollars). 

The proceeds were expected to be used for lithium-ion power battery production expansion project, R&D of the new-energy vehicles, replenishment of working capital and repayment of bank loans.

Later in June this year, the company made an announcement saying that the amount of the fund for the lithium-ion power battery project will be reduced from 6 billion yuan (878.3 million U.S. dollars) to 5 billion yuan (731.9 million U.S. dollars) and the decreased amount will be invested in BYD's new Qinghai battery plant. 

The plant will have an annual capacity of 24 Gwh when it is fully in use in 2019, and by then, it will be the world's largest vehicle-battery factory, the electric vehicle maker said.