STOCK WATCH

 

 

By SHABBIR H. KAZMI
Updated Jan 29, 2005

 

The market behavior during the week remained volatile. Though, buying spree was evident in PTCL but the index failed to sustain its upward move. On Wednesday, the index breached 6,900 level due to active buying in PTCL. On Thursday, the market touched all-time high mark of 6,987 but closed at 6,980 level. Friday witnessed another massive selling and at one point the index shed 230 points. However, some recovery was there in the second session and the market closed with a loss of 154 points.

 

 

As was evident, the recent hike in the index was driven by PTCL, at the back of active participation by the bidders. However, it is yet to be seen the response of the government. The Privatization Commission has not come up with the offer price. One factor has to be kept in mind that whatever may be the quoted price the offer price has to be significantly higher than that. The strategic investor is not only acquiring 26% stake in the company but the management control also. Therefore, a premium has to be there.

As all eyes are set at the index touching 8,000 level only the positive news can help in attaining the dream level. The current ups and downs only suggest that investors are willing to take new positions and their endeavor is fully supported by the ample liquidity. With the start of results announcement the index is expected to continue its upward movement.

SHAKARGANJ MILLS

The company has announced 17.5% dividend for the year ended September 30, 2004. It has posted Rs 160 million profit after tax that translates into Rs 4.12 earnings per share. The company had posted Rs 129.6 million profit last year. The improvement in bottom line was despite increase in operating expenses and reduction in share of income from associate undertakings. This was partly offset by increase in other operating income and financial charges. Gross profit was Rs 380.5 million at the back of higher sales. Operating expenses went up from Rs 138 million to Rs 218 million. Other operating income grew from Rs 87 million to Rs 171 million. Financial expenses came down from Rs 151 million to Rs 135 million. Whereas share of income from associate undertakings declined from 30.5 million to Rs 16 million.

NISHAT MILLS

The company has posted Rs 806 million profit after tax for the quarter ended December 31, 2004 but did not announce payment of any interim dividend. It had posted Rs 150 million profit for the corresponding period of last year. The hike in profit is attributed to growth in sales and better cost controls. Sales went up from Rs 3,151 million to Rs 3,648 million. As against this, gross profit increased from Rs 420 million to Rs 682 million. Another factor contributing to improved bottom line was nearly five-fold increase in other income, giong up from Rs 95 million to Rs 548.5 million. However, this seems to be an extraordinary item.

GADOON TEXTILE MILLS

The company has posted Rs 69 million profit after tax for the quarter ended December 31, 2004 as compared to Rs 65.2 million profit for the corresponding period of last year. Though, sales came down marginally from Rs 1,424 million to Rs 1,407 million whereas gross profit improved from Rs 133 million to Rs 180 million. The improvement in gross profit can be attributed to optimization of cost goods sold. The benefit of improved gross margin was partly lost due to increase in operating expenses, decrease in other income and hike in financial and other charges. Operating expenses grew from Rs 32 million to Rs 47.7 million rupees. Financial and other charges went up from Rs 30.3 million to Rs 41.8 million, whereas other income declined from Rs 4.3 million to Rs 3.2 million. Another factor bringing down profit was nearly three-fold increase in provision for tax, going up from Rs 9.8 million to Rs 25 million. The company did announce distribution of any interim dividend.

MITCHELS FRUIT FARMS

The company has posted Rs 4.454 million profit after tax for the quarter ended December 31, 2004 as compared to Rs 4.090 million for the corresponding period of last year. The profit for the target translates into an EPS of Rs 0.88. Though, there was decrease in sales a corresponding reduction in cost of goods sold helped in maintaining the level of gross profit. There was a marginal reduction in operating expenses but the benefit was eroded due to increase in financial and other charges, going up from Rs 1.658 million to Rs 2.204 million. The company did not announce payment of any interim dividend, following its past practice.

MAPLE LEAF CEMENT

The Pakistan Credit Rating Agency has upgraded the credit rating of term finance certificates (TFCs) worth Rs 250 million issued by the company. The rating denotes a low expectation of credit risk emanating from a strong capacity for timely payment of financial commitments. The rating reflects the healthy internal cash generation on the back of significant improvement in profitability.

Company

High

Low

Closing

Week's Turnover

P.T C.L.A

66.00

58.85

64.00

972,167,000

Oil & Gas Dev.

82.30

80.40

80.70

545,788,200

Fauji Fert Bin

32.20

28.50

28.50

182,606,500

Hub PowerXD

33.40

32.20

32.20

173,381,000

Sui Southern Gas

31.55

28.50

28.50

136,976,500

National Bank

99.65

96.25

96.25

103,796,900

P.S.O.

327.10

305.00

305.00

81,040,900

Sui North GasXD

63.15

55.85

55.85

63,599,700

M.C.B.

73.80

67 45

67.45

59,053,300

Pak Petroleum

141.25

131.25

131.25

14,536,700