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Stock Idea - Selan Exploration Technology

Recommendation: Hold

CMP = Rs 158

Result highlights:

  • For Q3FY2008, Selan Exploration Technology (Selan) has reported a growth of 44.4% in its revenues to Rs 7.8 crore. However, the revenues declined by 12.5% sequentially. The sequential growth was dented by a 21.9% drop in the volumes (barrel of crude oil) sold, which is lower than our expectations. This was partially mitigated by a 12.6% sequential improvement in the average realisation (per barrel) during the quarter. In Q3, the production volume was dented by seasonality factor. The third quarter has lower number of working days due to festive season. Moreover, some of the wells were partially shut down for testing and maintenance.
  • The operating profit margin (OPM) at 62% in Q3FY2008 was lower than 64.1% reported in Q2FY2008. The OPM declined largely due to additional cost incurred on maintenance and higher overhead cost as percentage of sales. The operating profit grew by 77.9% yoy and declined 15.3% quarter on quarter to Rs 4.8 crore. However, the earnings grew at a healthy rate of 14.7% sequentially and 109.7% yoy to Rs 3.9 crore. The earning growth was boosted by the lower effective tax rate during the quarter.
  • For the nine-month period ended December 2007, the revenues and the earnings have grown by 37.9% and 44.6% respectively. The OPM at 64% is higher than 61.4% reported in the corresponding period last fiscal.
  • To factor in the lower than expected production volumes in Q3FY2008, we are revising downwards our earnings estimates by 2.6% for FY2008 and 4.5% for FY2009 respectively. I am factoring a volume growth of 25.3% CAGR over FY2007-09 (lower than the management guidance of 30-40% CAGR over the two-year period).
  • At the current market price, the stock trades at 16.1x FY2008 and 11.8x FY2009 estimated earnings. I maintain Hold recommendation on the stock.

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Stock Idea - Jindal Saw

Recommendation: Buy

CMP = Rs 904

Price target: Rs 1,302

Result highlights:

  • Jindal Saw Ltd's (JSL) Q5FY2007 numbers were ahead of expectations on the back of higher topline and improved margins. The net revenues marked a growth of 35.1% yoy to Rs 1,611.7 crore due to high growth witnessed in the submerged arc welded (SAW) pipe and the ductile iron (DI) pipe segments.
  • The US division, which contributed Rs 535 crore to the topline during the quarter, has been hived off. Since the US division was operating at lesser margins of about 8-9%, its hiving off would result into an expansion in the company's profit margins. On the back of a favourable product mix, lesser contribution of the US division, and greater efficiencies, the operating profit margin expanded by 100 basis points yoy and 50 basis points sequentially to 12.4%. Consequently, the operating profits surged by 46.3% to Rs 199.8 crore. Lower taxes led the profit before extraordinaries to grow by 83.1% to Rs 110.1 crore.
  • JSL's order book at the end of the quarter stood at $1 billion executable by January 2009, with more than 65% contribution coming from international markets. Of this, $775 million orders were for SAW pipes, while the remaining orders were for DI and seamless pipes. The company has announced new initiatives and has identified opportunities in new areas of infrastructure, transportation and fabrication industry, all through wholly owned subsidiary Jindal ITF. In all, the capex of Rs 1,800 crore is planned to be spent on these businesses with 25% equity contribution. 
  • To fund these plans, the company would also be issuing 26 lakh warrants and 27.3 lakh convertible debentures to the promoters, convertible at Rs 819 per share. I maintain positive outlook on the company considering strong scope for its core business and margin expansion.
  • I maintain Buy recommendation on the stock with a price target of Rs 1,302.

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In some point of time in our life, we face financial troubles. Sometimes we find ourselves in deep monetary losses so much so that we turn to heavy borrowing / credits, and then face another trouble of mounting debts. It also carries a risk of going bankrupt. I know that going bankrupt is a touch decision. It means you can walk away from all your debts, but you'll lose your house in most cases - and possibly other assets too. So if you are worried you could be made bankrupt, and you are scared or your life on that thought of losing all your assets, then look no further than ClearDebt.

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Stock Idea - Unity Infraprojects

Recommendation: Buy

CMP = Rs 692

Price target: Rs 970

Key points:

  • Unity Infraprojects (Unity) is a leading construction company with well-diversified expertise across the projects. The strong growth in real estate sector will trickle down to construction companies, which would lead to strong order inflows for these companies. The growth in real estate sector coupled with government thrust on infrastructure spending would lead to over 20% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) growth in Unity's order inflows during the period FY2007-2010.
  • Unity has strong order book of approximately Rs 2,450 crore, which is 4.8x its FY2007 revenues. The robust order book coupled with growth in order inflows would lead to a strong financial performance. Consequently, we expect Unity's revenues and earnings to grow at a CAGR of 37.1% and 31.8% respectively during the period FY2007-2010.
  • Unity has forayed into real estate sector through a wholly owned subsidiary, Unity Realty and Developers Limited (URDL). The real estate projects include those at Nagpur, Pune, and Goa, which are on the build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis. Beside this, the company plans to develop 15 million square feet (mn sq ft) in Kolkata. In line with this, the company has acquired 150 acre of land for Rs 100 crore in Kolkata. To fund these projects, the company plans to dilute its stake in URDL, which will unlock value for Unity's shareholders.
  • I initiate Buy recommendation on Unity with a price target of Rs 970 over next 6 months.

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Of late in UK, there have been quite a few instances of Mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is (in fact, was) one of the most widely used ingredients in building materials. So naturally, the most affected were the labourers working on the construction sites, as they were exposed to asbestos vapours for maximum time. So the Home Information Packs (Hips) of UK have decided that they would educate all the home-purchasers about presence of asbestos in the house they are going to buy.
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Stock Idea - Television Eighteen (TV18) India

Recommendation: Buy

CMP = Rs 388

Price target: Rs 571

Result highlights:

  • TV18 pulled out a robust performance for Q3FY2008. The operating revenues for the quarter grew by a healthy 73.8% to Rs 112.6 crore. All the segments—news, internet and newswire—registered high growth numbers.
    • The news business revenues grew by 57.5% yoy to Rs 91.4 crore reflecting niche positioning of its channels CNBC TV18 and Awaaz. The operating profit margin (OPM) for the segment was up 100 basis points qoq to 44%.
    • Web18 continues in investment mode. Thus despite a stupendous 161.6% year-on-year (y-o-y) growth in the revenues to Rs 17.6 crore, the operating loss stood at Rs 7.2 crore, as the company wrote off all the costs incurred (rather than capitalising on it). Thus Web18 is spending heavily after its growth, the results of which we believe would be seen over the longer term.
    • Newswire18 posted a 44% quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) growth in its revenues to Rs 3.6 crore. The operating loss in Q3FY2008 was down at Rs 1.7 crore against Rs2.2 crore in Q2FY2008. The business is witnessing rapid subscriber addition and we expect the business to break even in FY2009. 
  • The consolidated OPM of the company during the quarter stood at 28.1% against 45.3% in the corresponding quarter last year Q3FY2007 (and 26.7% in the previous quarter Q2FY2008). The overall OPM continues to be impacted by the heavy spend on augmenting the internet and the newswire businesses. Thereby the operating profit growth was restricted to 7.6% yoy to Rs 31.6 crore.
  • TV18 forayed into print media by acquiring 40% stake in Infomedia India (Infomedia). The company has made an open offer to the shareholders of Infomedia for a further 20% stake in the company at Rs 237 a share, as TV18 intends to increase its stake in Infomedia to atleast 53%. 
  • Close on the heels of acquisition of Infomedia India, TV18 forged an alliance with Forbes Media. While the alliance would begin with the launch of a business magazine soon, other publications would follow suit. The company also entered into a 50:50 joint venture with Jagran Prakashan for launching a Hindi business newspaper. The duo would also launch business dailies in other Indian languages. Thus TV18's foray in print media completes an integrated media model for Network18 group.
  • I maintain positive stance on the stock and maintain Buy recommendation with a price target of Rs 571.

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Over the last couple of decades, the real estate has been soaring and many people are purchasing houses, and treating this as an investment avenue. Later they give these houses on rent and enjoy tax benefits as well. However, there are increasing cases of frauds and terrorists occupying rental houses for illegal purposes. Typically in UK, there have been many instances where miscreants were found occupying rental properties and carrying out illegal activities. So it is extremely important that a landlord performs a thorough check on the occupants who want the rental property. As most of us are busy in our own work and/or don’t have resources to perform background checks on tenants, it triggered out an excellent business idea and Credit Check Services was born.

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Stock Idea - HDFC Bank

Recommendation: Buy

CMP = Rs 1,423

Price target: Rs 1,747

Key points:

  • Boards of HDFC Bank and Centurion Bank of Punjab (CBoP) approves merger plan in an all-stock swap deal (in ratio of 29:1) – Shareholders to get one HDFC Bank share for every 29 they hold of CBoP after merger which will create India’s largest private bank in terms of branches.
  • The combined entity will have a nationwide network of 1,148 branches. That’s more than existing private sector leader ICICI Bank which has close to 955 branches.
  • Merger to boost HDFC Bank's retail penetration substantially. The deposits would climb up to Rs 1,20,000 crore, advances to Rs 85,000 crore while balance-sheet size would swell to Rs 1,50,000 crore, Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) Limited chairman Deepak Parekh said.
  • Merger dilutive in short-term, but beneficial in long-term for HDFC Bank. I strongly recommend Buy option for HDFC Bank with a price target of Rs 1,747 over next 6 months.

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Stock Idea - Wockhardt

Recommendation: Buy

CMP = Rs 344

Price target: Rs 552

Result highlights:

  • Wockhardt's Q4CY2007 and CY2007 performance have been marginally above our expectations, with the topline growth of 44.8% and 53.5% in Q4CY2007 and CY2007 respectively and the profit growth of 22.7% and 27.9% in Q4CY2007 and CY2007 respectively. The robust growth was largely driven by the consolidation of Negma and Morton Grove acquisitions made during the year. On a like-to-like basis, the organic growth stood at ~6% during Q4CY2007 and at ~13% during CY2007.
  • Despite a robust revenue growth and significant margin expansion, the net profit growth was restricted due to a significant jump in the interest costs on account of an increase in the debt burden to fund acquisitions.
  • With three major acquisitions in the USA, France and Ireland over the past two years, Wockhardt has created a global footprint for itself and has become the largest Indian company in Europe. The company aims to consolidate its acquisitions and extract value from them over the next two years. Wockhardt's ability to create value from acquisitions is evident in the turnaround and operational improvements effected in Dumex, Pinewood and Morton Grove.
  • Wockhardt has created a bio-pharmaceutical portfolio of four-five products and plans to initially focus on the global insulin opportunity, which is worth $10 billion. The company has already filed an IND with the US FDA for its generic insulin, which has been approved, and is also working on filing an IND in Europe. Wockhardt is aiming to enter the US and European markets with its generic insulin by 2010.
  • At the current market price of Rs 344, the stock is available at 8.7x its CY2008E and 7.5x its CY2009E earnings on a fully diluted basis.
  • I maintain strong Buy recommendation on the stock with a price target of Rs 552 over next 3 months.

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Stock Idea - Punj Lloyd

Recommendation: Buy

CMP = Rs 379 (as of Monday)

Price target: Rs 620

Key highlights:

  • SEC, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Punj Lloyd Ltd. (PLL), has recently won an order from Marina Bay Sands to build a resort comprising of casino, theaters and retail arcade in Singapore. The order is valued at $400 million (Rs 1,119 crore) and the project is expected to be complete by April 2009.
  • SEC's current order book stands at Rs 7,358.1 crore, out of which close to Rs 1,070-crore orders are legacy orders which would be executed at low margins over the next 15-18 months. The recent order bookings in SEC have been done at the earnings before interest, depreciation, tax and amortisation (EBIDTA) margin of 7.5% and above (our estimates is ~3.5% in FY2009 and 7% in FY2010).
  • PLL has made strategic investments in various companies namely Pipavav Shipyard Ltd (PSL), Airworks Ltd and a real estate venture. PLL would use these investments to enhance its compatibility to execute more complex and variety of jobs. 
  • PLL has laid a strong foundation to further augment its position as a significant EPC player in the hydrocarbon space; its subsidiary SEC and Simon Carves with expertise in urban infrastructure provide a great fit to the group on the whole. I expect the order inflow to be buoyant, but more lumpier than before with the company laying emphasis on increasing its order ticket size. 
  • At the current market price, the stock trades at 21.7x FY2009E and 16.4x FY2010E earning estimates. In terms of enterprise value/EBIDTA the stock is quoting at 12.3x and 9.6x its FY2009 and FY2010 estimates.
  • I reiterate Buy with a price target of Rs 620 with a time frame of 6-7 months.

Stock Idea - Larsen & Toubro (L&T)

Recommendation: Buy

CMP = Rs 3,536

Price target: Rs 4,428

Key points:

  • L&T, being the largest engineering and construction company in India, is a direct beneficiary of the strong domestic infrastructure boom and industrial capex. Strong infrastructure spend is set to ensure strong growth momentum in the company's order inflows. I estimate the overall order inflows for the company to grow at a CAGR of 20.7% between FY2007-10.
  • The contribution of international revenues has grown from 4% to 17.5% in the last five years and is expected to reach 25% by FY2010. Gulf Corporation Council nations offer immense business opportunity ($1.25 trillion) over the next six years, which augurs well for company like L&T.
  • I believe there lies an immense opportunity in the new verticals in which the company is entering namely ship building, defense, railways, thermal and nuclear power. Given the company's excellent track record, I am confident of its success in these initiatives and am also encouraged by higher returns on investments in these segments. 
  • I believe there is a scope for further improvement in the margins on the back of rising operational efficiencies, larger ticket-size and more complex nature of orders, better raw material sourcing and integration, and higher contribution of its new businesses that carry higher margins. 
  • Some of the subsidiaries of L&T, particularly L&T Infotech, L&T Finance and LT FZE have reached critical size and importance, making L&T a true conglomerate and a diversified play. 
  • Sound execution track record, bulging order book, and strong performance of subsidiaries reinforces our faith in L&T. I value the core business of L&T at 28x FY2010E earnings, or Rs 3,403 per share, while the subsidiaries at Rs 1,025 per share of L&T. At the current market price of Rs 3,536, the stock is trading at 21.9x its FY2010E consolidated earnings.
  • I recommend a strong Buy on the stock with the price target of Rs 4,428 over next 6 months.

Stock Idea - Andhra Bank

Recommendation: Buy

CMP = Rs 91

Price target: Rs 117

Result highlights:

  • Andhra Bank reported its Q3FY2008 results with the net profit going up by 16.7% yoy and 5.2% qoq. The yoy growth was driven by higher other income (up 29.3%) and lower staff expenses (down by 17.8%). The core performance was better than that of last quarter (Q2FY2008) with the net interest margin (NIM) improving slightly due to a slim reduction in the cost of deposits.
  • The non-interest income grew by 11.1% yoy to Rs 147.7 crore due to a 258.7% jump in the treasury income, while the core fee income showed a decline of 3.7% yoy. The fall in the core fee income is a cause for concern though the management expects this to improve going forward with an increase in the income from distribution of third party products.
  • The operating expenses fell by a moderate 2.6% yoy helped by a 17.8% fall in employee costs, which is in contrast to other PSU banks. The main reason for the fall in the employee costs is the bank's decision to adjust the transitional liability on account of AS-15 (amounting to about Rs 375 crore) against the reserves. Upto Q2FY2008 the bank used to make an adhoc provision for this liability. This coupled with a 4.3% y-o-y growth in the net total income resulted in a moderate growth of 10.5% yoy in pre-provisioning profits.
  • Andhra Bank's business grew quite strongly with the advances up by 22.4% yoy. The deposits mirrored the advances growth going up by 21.6% yoy. The deposits were down 1.2% qoq, which is an indication of the bank giving up some of the high-cost deposits. Despite the strong growth in the advances, the asset quality continued to remain among the best in the industry with the gross non-performing assets at 1.35% and the net non-performing assets (NNPA) at 0.16%.
  • The capital adequacy levels are at 12.03% with the Tier-I CAR at around 8-9%, which is not a constraint on growth. The asset quality continues to remain among the best in the industry.
  • At the current market price of Rs91, the stock is quoting at 6.3x its FY2009E earnings per share (EPS), 3.4x pre-provision profits and 1.1x book value. The stock is available at attractive valuations given its low price to book multiple compared with its peers.
  • I maintain a strong Buy call on the stock with a price target of Rs 117 over next 3 months.

Stock Idea - Grasim Industries

Recommendation: Buy

CMP = Rs 2,736

Price target: Rs 3,853

Result highlights:

  • Grasim Industries' (Grasim) Q3FY2008 net sales increased by 15.4% year on year (yoy) to Rs 2,630 crore, mainly on the back of higher realisations from Viscose Staple Fibre (VSF) and sponge iron businesses.
  • The operating profit margin (OPM) improved by 340 basis points to 32.6%, mainly on account of higher realisations from VSF and sponge iron businesses. Consequently the operating profit was up 29% yoy to Rs 856.3 crore.
  • The reported profit after tax (PAT) was up by a robust 34.6% yoy to Rs 553.79 crore because of a healthy growth reported across all the segments namely cement, VSF, sponge iron and caustic soda.
  • The company's expansion plans are on track for both cement and VSF businesses. The company is adding about 9 million tonne per annum (MTPA) of cement capacity by Q2FY2009 and about 95,000 tonne of VSF capacity, of which 64,000 tonne is expected to come by March 2008. The company has also announced a Rs 840-crore greenfield plant with 88,000 tonne VSF capacity.
  • The management has hinted at a possible buyback, which will be a positive trigger for the stock.
  • At the current market price of Rs 2,736 the stock is trading at 9.4x its estimated FY2008 earnings per share (EPS) and 10.8x its estimated FY2009 EPS.
  • I maintain Buy recommendation on the stock with a revised price target of Rs 3,853.

Stock Idea - Sanghvi Movers

Recommendation: Buy

CMP = Rs 250

Price target: Rs 298

Key points:

  • Large investments in core sectors like refineries, windmills, petrochemicals, cement and power will create huge demand for cranes. Sanghvi Movers Ltd (SML) which is the largest player in crane hiring business in the country is likely to corner a large share of the opportunity
  • In the first nine months of FY2008, SML added 16 cranes to its fleet and is expected to add another 22 cranes in the Q4FY2008. By the end of FY2008, SML would have a fleet size of 283 cranes with capacity ranging from 20 to 800 tonne. The fleet would be the biggest in the country and the wide tonnage range would enable SML to provide unmatched service.
  • In FY2010, I estimate SML to clock revenues of Rs 407.1 crore though yields are likely to be lower. I expect its revenues to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 31.6% over FY2007-10E. Stable operating performance should help the bottom line to grow at a CAGR of 31.8% over FY2007-10E.
  • SML plans to spend Rs 200 crore in FY2008, Rs 390 crore in FY2009 and Rs 100 crore in FY2010 to acquire more cranes. The robust top line growth and stable operating performance resulted in a strong profit growth during the quarter.
  • On increased capital expenditure (capex) guidance, I recommend Buy option on this stock with a price target of Rs 250 over next 4 months.

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Volatile stock market… Uncertain Sensex… All your dreams of making it big in stocks now face the danger of wiped out… Caveat is that you need to hold your stocks for a long period: ten years if you can to reap the benefits of picking stocks that will create value for you.


Here are the top picks which have the potential to be multi-baggers (a stock that grows manifold over a period of time) if held with an investment horizon of ten years:

  • Large caps are selected because of their proven track record and ability to grab mega opportunities through their financial strength.
  • Mid caps if the management has the vision and management band width to scale up rapidly to become large caps.


A. Commodities

  • Reliance Industries – Perennially evergreen company
  • Reliance Petroleum – Largest refinery with very high Nelson complexity index  that will lead to highest gross refining margins, GRMs
  • Gujarat NRE Coke – integration from coking coal to coke
  • Tata Steel – formerly Tisco; lowest cost producer of steel plus large value addition through Corus acquisition
  • Hindalco – lowest cost producer of aluminium plus large value addition through Novelis Fusion Technology
  • Sterlite Industries – commodity powerhouse at a time when globally commodities are in a super cycle
  • Sesa Goa – largest reserves of iron ore in private sector


B. Telecom

  • RCom – marketing aggressiveness plus financial engineering plus political acumen


C. Auto

  • Tata Motors – from world's cheapest car to luxury Jaguar to SUV Landrover to trucks -- will be in global top five in 5 years


D. Finance

  • ICICI Bank – proactive, aggressive fund raising and lending taking full advantage of slow decision making at PSU banks
  • Reliance Capital – straddling all areas of non-banking financial services


E. Infrastructure

  • L&T – another evergreen company, value unlocking through listing of subsidiaries, very strong core business
  • Patel Engineering –  strong position in high margin high technology construction sector, real estate development


F. Pharma

  • Glenmark – innovator, out-licensor of drugs in fast growing therapeutic areas like lifestyle diseases
  • Cipla – innovator copier, low cost supplier of essential medicines people can't do without


G. Realty

  • DLF – proxy for the Indian real estate sector
  • Unitech – number 2 and tries harder than number 1
  • Sobha Developers – fully integrated real estate contractor who graduated to property developer status


Note: Please note that these are my recommendations. I would advise my readers to understand the nuances of each stock thoroughly before making decisions.

New IPO - Emaar MGF Land (SUBSCRIBE)

Issue details:

  • Issue opens: 01 February, 2008
  • Issue closes: 06 February, 2008
  • Issue size: 10.26 crore equity shares
  • Face value: Rs 10 each
  • Break-up of fresh issue to public:
    • QIB's portion: 6.15 crore shares
    • Retail portion: 3.08 crore shares
    • Non-institutional portion: 1.02 crore shares
  • Price band: Rs 540 – Rs 630


Objective of the issue

The issue of 10.26 crore equity shares is aimed at raising Rs 6, 256.8 crore to Rs 7,077.4 crore (depending on the price band of Rs 610-690 per share) to make part payment towards acquisition of land and land development rights, development and construction cost for its Palm Drive project and repayment of loans. Part of the proceeds would be utilized for meeting issue expenses and general corporate purposes. After the issue, the total number of shares for the company will increase from 88.34 crore shares to 98.59 crore shares, bringing down the stake of the promoters and the promoters group to 85.3% of the diluted equity.


Company background

Incorporated in 2005, Emaar MGF Land (Emaar MGF) is a joint venture between Emaar Properties PJSC of Dubai (Emaar) and MGF Development (MGF) of India. Emaar is the world's leading real estate company, which has operations in 16 countries and has developed approximately 45.0 million square feet (mn sq ft) across the business verticals. MGF has established itself as one of the key players in retail real estate development in northern India over the last ten years.


Key positives

  • Parent company's advantage:

Emaar MGF is a joint venture between Emaar and MGF. In my opinion, Emaar's brand name coupled with its international expertise will enable Emaar MGF to develop the prestigious projects in a timely manner.


  • Higher proportion of well-diversified land bank is fully paid:

Given the aggressive development plans by the real estate developers, land acquisition cost is going to increase significantly for the developers. Emaar MGF has made full payment for 89.0% of the total land reserves.


  • Aggressive expansion plans in hospitality

The demand for accommodation across the hotel sector is gaining momentum due to increased international and domestic tourism, increased business travels and growing investment in infrastructure. To capitalise on this opportunity, Emaar MGF is planning to develop 4,960 hotel rooms across cities over the next five to seven years.


  • Other initiatives
    • Emaar MGF is also planning to foray into healthcare and infrastructure projects.
    • In the healthcare business line, the company has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Fortis Healthcare to develop hospitals, which would be positioned as "one-stop shops" for healthcare facilities in the Tier-I and Tier-II cities of India.
    • The company plans to develop 25 hospitals with capacity ranging from 75 to 125 beds in joint venture over the next 10 to 12 years.
    • In infrastructure projects, Emaar MGF has bid for the development of the international airport at Amritsar in Punjab. It includes commercial operation and maintenance of the airport terminal spread across 41,000 square meter and city side development covering 30 acre.


Key concerns

  • 80.0% of land reserves comprise agricultural land
  • Higher concentration of land bank in northern region
  • Execution risk



Using the net asset value (NAV) valuation method, it comes out that NAV of this stock is Rs 754 per share. Given the well-diversified land bank, the parent company's advantage and plans to expand into the other verticals of the sector, Emaar MGF should trade at 1.1x NAV multiple, indicating a fair value of Rs 830 per share. I would recommend Subscribe option to all my readers, taking into account excellent future of the infrastructure industry in India in the next 3-4 years.

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Market ends firm as IT stocks rally

The rally in IT stocks followed by firm open in European markets saw the Sensex gain 585 points at close.

The rise in the inflation rate could not dampen the market spirits as the Sensex staged gains of around 600 points at close. The market reported a solid performance on the back of strong all-round buying even though other major Asian indices exhibited a subdued trend in the morning trades. The market opened with a gap of 172 points at 17,821, but slipped immediately on selling in heavyweight, realty, and power stocks and touched the day's low of 17,535.

However, buying at lower levels in technology, metal, auto and oil stocks saw the Sensex shed all of its losses and enter into the green again. Sustained buying thereafter helped the Sensex to regain the 18,000 mark and touch the intra-day high of 18,312. The Sensex finally closed the session at 18,233, up 585 points. The Nifty ended the session up 180 points at 5,317.

The market breadth was negative, with the losers outpacing the gainers in the ratio of 1.43:1. Of the 2,795 stocks traded on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), 1,113 stocks advanced, 1,606 stocks declined and 76 stocks ended unchanged. Among the sectoral indices, the BSE IT index moved up by 5.77% followed by the BSE Teck index (up 3.94%), the BSE Metal index (up 3.63%) and the BSE Auto index (up 3.54%). However, the BSE CD index and the BSE Realty index closed in the negative territory and shed 0.05% each.

Among the tech stocks Satyam Computer shot up 8.18% at Rs421, TCS soared 6.17% at Rs929, Infosys surged 5.80% at Rs1,591 and Wipro jumped 5.79% at Rs437. Among the other gainers Tata Motors moved up by 6.82% at Rs754, Hindalco scaled up 6.73% at Rs177, Maruti Suzuki was up 6.60% at Rs905, Tata Steel advanced by 5.86% at Rs776, ONGC gained 5.68% at Rs1,045 and HDFC advanced by 5.44% at Rs2,998. However, ACC slipped 3.72% at Rs754, followed by Ambuja Cement and HDFC Bank, which were down 0.79% and 0.05% respectively.

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