(Bloomberg) -- Healthtech may prove to be the bright spots for companies such as Alibaba Health Information Technology Ltd. and Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd. amid a post-pandemic lull. 

Alibaba Health’s growth could be supported by the digital segment as sales of prescription drugs and Covid-19 related products slowed due to high bases set in the previous year. Chinese firm CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd.’s first-quarter earnings improved as it reported more drug approvals. The company would be leaning on new drugs to lift earnings outlook for the next few years.

Apollo Hospitals’ HealthCo, which runs the health app and pharmacies, will be in focus after turning a surprise operating profit last quarter. The health care firm agreed to sell a 17% stake in the unit to private equity firm Advent International for $297 million, but valuations implied by the deal disappointed investors.

As earnings season in Asia draws to a close, Chinese corporates have remained lackluster, with the ongoing property crisis dragging down real estate firms. Some optimism is taking shape over the government’s newest efforts to revive the economy.

In Southeast Asia, growth in Indonesian banks’ quarterly results show support by strong loan-book expansions, Bloomberg Intelligence said. In contrast, Thailand’s banks remain pressured by weakening asset quality due to the high household debt in the country.

With cautious earnings outlooks and a market on the verge of a correction, a record number of Japanese companies have announced higher dividends and buybacks to prop up shareholder value.

Highlights to look out for:

Monday: Alibaba Health (241 HK) may post a marginal increase in annual revenue due partly to muted performance in pharmaceutical direct sales, after enjoying years of double- and triple-digit growth that had substantially boosted the baseline. Revenue may expand a steadier 15% through fiscal 2025, BI said. The company’s push into cloud-based hospital and infrastructure, driven by Alibaba’s robust healthcare ecosystem, could help it trim reliance on drug sales in the long term. The company will hold a board meeting on Monday to approve final results.

Wednesday: Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (FPH NZ) may eke out a slight increase in net income for the full year, following contractions in the previous two periods. A recent voluntary limited recall of some pre-2017 devices is estimated by the company to cost about NZ$12 million, to be provisioned for this reporting period.

  • Tata Steel’s (TATA IN) fourth-quarter profit should almost halve as weak demand conditions persist in Europe. The alloy maker will shut two unprofitable furnaces in the UK. The plan has been met with strike action from a UK steelworkers union, according to a BBC report. Analysts at BI said this may create uncertainty around the restructuring, but should improve the firm’s cost position.

Thursday: Apollo Hospitals’ (APHS IN) fourth-quarter profit is poised to surge more than 80%, helped by HealthCo. Hospital occupancy is expected higher, but margins will be compressed by higher spends related to marketing and doctor costs, analysts at Nuvama wrote. It plans to add 2,000 beds over the next four years at a cost of 30 billion rupees to capitalize on the growing market for private healthcare in India’s cities, which management has recently attributed in part to growing access to private health insurance.

  • Axiata Group’s (AXIATA MK) first-quarter earnings may be supported by a more-than-doubling in net income of its Indonesian unit XL Axiata. Watch for comments relating to a potential merger of that unit with telco Smartfren, a move that BI analyst Sharon Chen says would make “strategic sense” as it could decrease competition while raising market share.

(Updates throughout)

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.