Honda To Sail Over A Covid Recession?

by Trefis Team
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Yes, Honda Motors’ stock (NYSE: HMC) is expected to sail over a Covid recession with the price falling around 8% since the beginning of the year. The automotive industry is rattled, and Honda is no exception. A Covid recession will impact the company’s revenues, cash flows, and ability to pay dividends. Fading consumer demand, reduced discretionary spending, and stay-at-home orders, will result in minimal demand for automobiles.

Trefis analyzes the potential Impact Of The Covid-19 Recession On Honda Motors with a focus on the company’s liquidity reserves and concludes that Honda has a steady financial position and a Covid-19 recession will not have a major impact on the company’s cash reserves in the near term.

Impact On Honda Motors’ Revenues 

  • If the outbreak of the virus increases, Honda Motors’ automobiles, motorcycles, and power products will see a low demand until the situation improves. As a result, Honda Motors’ revenues could decline by about 30% in FY’21 (FY ends in March), on account of weaker demand, potential supply constraints, and a reduction in discretionary spending.
  • In addition to that, the company derives nearly 55% of its revenues from North America, which has become the epicenter of the outbreak with the US recording the largest numbers of Covid-19 cases across the globe.

Impact On Honda Motors Cash Flows

  • Honda Motors’ cash flows are likely to plunge in FY2021 due to a steep fall in revenues and reduced profitability.  
  • The company will have to offer its products at a discount to keep the cash flowing. 
  • Elevated costs, coupled with lower revenues, will hurt the company’s bottom line. 
  • Despite these measures, we estimate that Free cash flow from operations (FCFO) will go down from $9.1 billion (¥979 billion) in FY2020 to $6.4 billion (¥689 billion) in FY2021. Also, with expected capital expenditures of $3.9 billion (¥423 billion) for the year, FCFO-CapEx will be $2.5 billion (¥266 billion) in FY2021.


Cash Balance Impact

  • This will lead to a 2021 cash balance of $27.3 billion (¥2,950 billion), which is higher when compared to FY2020. 
  • This is with the assumption that the company will not pay dividends or re-purchase shares. While that may be a disappointment for existing investors, these moves by the company will be essential for its long-term survival.


To sum things up, Honda Motors can weather a recession through early Q2 2021 and a 30% decline in revenues by cutting Capex, eliminating share repurchases, and suspending dividends. 

Our dashboard forecasting US Covid-19 cases with cross-country comparisons analyzes expected recovery time-frames and possible spread of the virus.

Further, our dashboard -28% Coronavirus crash vs. 4 Historic crashes builds a complete macro picture. Additionally, the complete set of coronavirus impact and timing analyses is available here.


An alternative scenario for Honda Motors’ cash flows with a 50% decline in revenue instead is detailed as a part of our full analysis.

While Honda seems to be in a relatively comfortable position to sail through the Covid crisis, which S&P 500 component stocks have the best chance of outperforming the benchmark index? Our 5 In the S&P 500 That’ll Beat The Index: TWTR, ISRG, NFLX, NOW, V look promising.


See all Trefis Price Estimates and Download Trefis Data here

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