Stock of internet-based services provider Info Edge (India) hit an all-time high on Wednesday, a day after Mumbai-headquartered brokerage house ICICI Securities raised its price forecast for the company’s shares.
Info Edge (India), which owns a part of Mumbai-traded food delivery giant Zomato, gained some 8.6% to INR6,718.35 ($91.29) at noon on the National Stock Exchange (NSE).
This was after analysts at ICIC Securities’ institutional research group maintained their ‘buy’ recommendation for Info Edge’s shares, with a revised target price of INR8,050. The brokerage firm expects the counter to meet that target over the next 12 months.
Info Edge (India) operates the popular jobs portal Naukri.com, matrimony website Jeevansathi.com and online real estate classifieds database 99acres.com. The firm has a market capitalisation of around INR863.29bn.
ICICI analysts Sudheer Guntupalli and Heenal Gada attributed the share price revision to the anticipated recovery in corporate hiring, a predictable increase in matchmaking activity in the foreseeable future, and to the expected rebound across realty markets.
“Jobs, weddings and (owning) a house are the three stereotypical and interconnected life goals in the Indian sociocultural construct,” the analyst wrote in a 7 September note to clients, made available to Capital.com. “Besides the parental influence, this trinity now seems to have another common driving force – liquidity!”
“As we anticipated in mid-June, hiring across sectors has witnessed a robust pickup. Net (payroll) additions in June 2021 were 85% higher than the pre-COVID run-rate…The ‘rethinking of work’ by employees is driving a massive supply-demand mismatch across industries, further boosting the need for ‘search’ platforms like Naukri.
“We foresee an employees’ job market for at least 12–18 months. This is driving strong traction in online realty, too, which is further led by low interest rates, new launches and the online shift,” according to ICICI’s analysts.
“We (also) expect a sharp pent-up increase in Jeevansathi’s paid listings as wedding restrictions ease and most of the 17 million deferred weddings come into the planning pipeline,” they added.
Info Edge, which is among the oldest internet companies in India, reportedly holds a 15.23% stake in Zomato, post the latter’s stock market listing. The restaurant aggregator has a market capitalisation of around INR1.07trn on the National Stock Exchange.
Info Edge has also invested in India’s PB Fintech, which has filed draft papers with the domestic markets regulator for an initial public offering (IPO) of its shares. PB, which operates online insurance aggregator Policybazaar.com, aims to raise INR60.17bn from a Mumbai share sale, as per the draft prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
“Info Edge expects that in the post-COVID-19 environment, there will be faster absorption of internet-based activities in the domains where it operates,” the Noida-headquartered firm said in its latest annual report.
“Hence, it is preparing itself to best utilise the next wave of market opportunities as the COVID-19 crisis subsides — hopefully from the second half of fiscal year 2021/2022,” the company told its shareholders.