Astra International, one of the largest diversified conglomerates in Indonesia, has always been one of investors' favorite blue chip stocks. Although the automotive sector contributes around half to the company's total revenue, Astra International is usually regarded the barometer of the Indonesian economy because the company is engaged in most key sectors of the economy. Thus, if the company is doing well, so is the Indonesian economy.
However, there are several matters that cause concern about Astra International's corporate performance and its attractiveness as stock pick. The company's market capitalization (the market value of a company's outstanding shares) on the Indonesia Stock Exchange has been declining gradually over the past couple of years. A view years ago Astra International was the top company in terms of market capitalization in Indonesia. Now, however, it ranks seventh, drifting further away from leading companies Bank Central Asia and HM Sampoerna.
Secondly, and closely related to the point above, Astra International's shares have fallen 16.27 percent so far in 2018. It is no surprise to see a declining share price considering ongoing pressures that are rocking emerging markets (and Indonesia is one of the most vulnerable emerging markets in terms of capital outflows on the Asian continent). However, Astra International's share performance is much worse than the 9.51 percent decline that was experienced by Indonesia's benchmark Jakarta Composite Index over the same period.
Stock Quote Astra International - ASII:
What is interesting to note is that Astra International's subsidiary United Tractors, a company engaged in the distribution of heavy equipment in Indonesia, now ranks eight in terms of market capitalization on the Indonesia Stock Exchange, one place behind its parent company. United Tractors has seen its sales rise significantly over the past two years amid improving commodity prices. This gives rise to growing demand for heavy equipment in the country's mining and agriculture sectors on the back of growing activity.
Thirdly, Astra International's market share is declining due to rising competition in Indonesia's automotive sector. In terms of car sales, Astra International now controls less than 50 percent of the market, a poor figure for the company. In the first four months of 2018 Astra International sold 192,908 cars down 8.9 percent year-on-year. Its market share subsequently fell from 56.7 percent to 48.9 percent over the same period. Amid fierce competition in the automotive industry of Indonesia, sales of Toyota (the most popular car brand in Indonesia, and which is distributed by the Astra Group) fell 18.9 percent (y/y) to 114,427 units in January-April 2018.
Car Sales in the January-April Period:
|Total Astra Car Sales
|Non-Astra Car Sales||161,712||201,513||+24.6%|
|Total Car Sales Indonesia||373,384||394,421||+5.6%|
|Market Share Astra||56.7%||48.9%|
Source: Astra International