Sunday, April 26, 2015

A report by US-based Glaucus Research  said: "Rolta buys computer systems only to depreciate and dispose of them shortly thereafter for an almost total loss. Rolta claims that its 2-6 year depreciation schedule is reasonable, but fails to address evidence that Rolta appears to have fully depreciated disposed systems on an even quicker timeline (1 year in some cases)".

I do not know what the management's response to this juggernaut would be; but depending on their own preferences, companies are free to choose a method to calculate the depreciation expense from among many. Or in other words, this is purely based on the motive of the company and Rolta India Ltd (Rs.121.65) might be having thier own arguments behind this move. 

We all know that in "Accelerated Methods", depreciation costs are written-off more quickly than the "Straight-line method". Generally, the purpose behind the former, is to "Minimize Taxable Income". It is the company's sword, so how it uses this weapon, is its discretion. So, where is the dichotomy?

Now what is EBIDTA? 

It is Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization-an approximate measure of a company's operating cash flow based on data from the company's income statement. 

Thus, the choice of depreciation method affects an income statement and balance sheet in the short term. 

Now, it is a general rule that most companies depreciate IT-hardware (Computer Systems) over a shorter period, say, 5-8 years. If Rolta India Ltd chose 2-6 year cycle (in most cases), then they are just following the general convention. Where is the problem? 

Then, should we conclude that the US-based firm wants to say that NO computer system can go wrong in one year? This is practically NONSENSE. 

Moreover a  lower depreciation would have raised reported earnings and boosted book value.

So, what does the US-based Glaucus Research has to say regarding the current book value of Rolta India Ltd? 

Or in other words it is foolish to take a call on any company based on the past numbers or a DEAD BALANCE SHEET!! We invest in a company based on its future numbers and its business prospects, isn't it? Moreover, in future Rolta India Ltd might change its accounting method, isn't it? Baaat Khallas!! 

Besides, in the current scenario, when the government of India is putting more stress in defense, with "Make in India" campaign, it would be STUPID to assume that the companies like Rolta India Ltd (Rs.121.65) would not do well in future; especially when BEL-Rolta consortium bagged the defense contract worth Rs.50,000 Cr

I am also surprised to see Fitch Ratings suddenly revising the outlook on Rolta India Limited's Long-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) to Negative from Stable, and affirming the IDRs and senior unsecured rating at 'BB-' changing its view on the company’s bonds based on that report. 

Should a rating agency be so handicapped that it has to take cues from an external agency to change their original standing? This  looks like "Hocus-pocus".   

Oscar Wilde once said: "A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing".

According to my research, the shares of Rolta India Ltd (Rs.121.65) came in for a sharp sell off on last Friday, i.e. on 24th April, 2015, because it has high FII holdings (12.94%). And you know how the NDA government spooked the FIIs with MAT.
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