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Wednesday, Jan 28, 2004

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GTL on the rise

Our Bureau

Kolkata , Jan. 27

THE GTL stock, recently off from the list of trade-to-trade counters, saw a rise in price and volumes on the major bourses on Tuesday.

It closed at Rs 120.85 (Rs 115.95) and 25.71 lakh shares changed hands on the Bombay Stock Exchange. On the National Stock Exchange, it recorded a traded quantity of 55.41 lakh shares.

At Tuesday's closing price, the stock traded at 11.6 times its annualised earnings per share of Rs 10.3 for the first nine-month period in 2003-04. Apart from a relative improvement in performance, the huge cash on its books has also attracted the attention of investors, Mr Gaurav Dua of Anagram Stockbroking, said.

The company had cash and cash equivalents of Rs 567 crore as on March 31, 2003, which amounted to cash of Rs 81.4 per share (equity base of Rs 70.79 crore).

It is setting up a 100 per cent subsidiary to cater exclusively to Motorola's cellular infrastructure projects, particularly in the areas of managed network services, system engineering, technical resource pool management and training.

The GTL management, according to Mr Dua, expects a more or less flat financial performance during this fiscal. However, it is hopeful of a better growth next year.

The company was compelled to reorient its entire business strategy after the dotcom euphoria evaporated in early 2000. The refocused strategy has helped it in geographical expansion, particularly in network engineering into African and West Asian countries and some other developing nations. "However, the company is still struggling to show any substantial growth in its consolidated performance", Mr Dua commented. Its enterprise solution business is not yet out of the woods.

Though one of the domestic pioneers in the field of ITES, during the last four years, it has graduated into a 1,000-seat call centre compared to 4,000 to 8,000 developed by its peers.

In the last 52 weeks, the stock has seen a high of Rs 154 and a low of Rs 49.

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