From THE HINDU group of publications
Sunday, November 04, 2001


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Buyback announcement perks up Guj Ambuja

Reshma Krishnan

ITC: ITC was in and out of favour with the market. However, it lost a good part of its value mostly towards the end of the week. The scrip closed the week at Rs 672.45 only down by a rupee or so for the week but lost almost 10 per cent during Friday's trading.

It appears that one of the reasons was the Supreme Court clamping down on tobacco by directing all States and Union Territories to immediately issue orders banning smoking in public paces and public transports including railways.

Raymond: This company witnessed decent trading interest during the course of the week. Its share price went up by Rs 6.15 to end the week at Rs 80.25. The uptrend has to be seen in the backdrop of the company posting a strong financial performance, recording a net profit of Rs 40.83 crore for the quarter ended September 2001 as against a loss of Rs 151.70 crore in the same period in the previous year.

Gujarat Ambuja: The proposed buyback of equity by Gujarat Ambuja cements has had a marginal impact on stock valuation. The company has proposed to buyback its shares at a maximum price of Rs 170 per share involving an outlay of Rs 50 crore. This announcement led to the share price perking up marginally to Rs 155.45.

Hughes Software: This stock, on the other hand, saw a considerable market interest over the week. The stock closed up by Rs 45 at Rs 234.80. The prospect of an open offer in the near future appears to have triggered some interest on the stock. The interest in the stock has to be seen in the light of the merger of Hughes Electronics Corporation (the parent of Hughes Software) with Echostar Communication which may lead to an open offer, as there is an effective change in control.

Dr. Reddy's: Dr. Reddy's had a bad week at the bourses despite some favourable news, in terms of a strong financial performance. The company received clearance for the abbreviated new drug application for ibuprofen tablets in the US market. The company has received clearance from the US Food and Drug administration for Ibuprofen, although this was announced towards the end of the week. The stock fell during the week to Rs 1,100.

Asian Paints: Asian paints saw its share price fall only marginally. It went down by Rs 2 to Rs 272. This was despite the companies' entry into powder coatings business. It acquired the powder coating business of Hawcoplast Chemicals for Rs 16 crore. The acquisition will widen Asian Paints presence in this segment, which has seen better rates within the industry.

Tata Tea: Tata Tea's decision to divest 40 per cent holding in Tata NKY (a joint venture with NKY of Japan) was seen as a good move by the market. Tata Tea currently holds 50 per cent in the joint venture between itself and NKY lines a leading international shipping company. The stock price went up by Rs 18.85 to end the week at Rs 161.70 from the previous week's trading close of Rs 142.85.

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