Healthy order book, strong balance sheet and the potential to unlock value from real estate projects make Unity Infraprojects a decent investment idea on a medium-term basis. Mumbai-based Unity Infraprojects is a small-sized construction firm operating in buildings, water and roads segments. The company is also developing real estate on its land parcels in Nagpur, Bangalore, Pune, Kolkata and Goa. The total saleable area from these projects is nearly nine million square feet.
Unity Infraprojects stands to gain by unlocking the value in its real estate projects. It was not able to monetise any of its real estate projects due to delays in execution by over a year. However, it is now in an advanced stage of securing approvals for launching its Bangalore residential project. Unity has a total saleable area of nearly 3 million square feet in this project, which it intends to launch in another three months.
After this it will focus on monetising its real estate in other cities. The current order book of the company in its construction business stands at Rs 4,700 crore, which are 2.75 times its FY11 revenues. These orders are to be executed over the next three years. The company has been increasing its exposure to the roads segment in the last few years. Although the roads segment is highly competitive, Unity’s backward integration in terms of owns machinery has allowed the company to garner better operating margins than its peers.
In the nine months ending December 2011, the company has maintained an operating margin of 15.5%. Another factor that augurs well for the company is its strong balance sheet. As of September 2011, the company had a debt-equity ratio of 1.1, which is one of the best among its peers. Unity Infraprojects’ stock is trading at a P/E of 3.9 while similar-sized rivals like Pratibha Industries and Supreme Infrastructure India are trading at a P/E of 5.9 and 5.2, respectively. Considering its growth potential and the relative discount to its peers, the stock looks attractive at this level.