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Saturday, Jan 31, 2004

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Numbers electrify Alstom Projects

Jayanta Mallick

Kolkata , Jan. 30

THE stock of Alstom Projects saw a recovery in its price of about 3.3 per cent on Friday. The trading in the counter on major bourses suggested decisive buying activity, surpassing a bout of profit booking.

The stock closed at Rs 117.95 (Rs 114.20), after touching an intra-day high of Rs 127.30. The traded quantity shot up over threefold to 2.69 lakh shares on the BSE and 2.66 lakh shares on the NSE. (Some 25 per cent of the total traded quantity was placed for delivery).

According to brokers, the better-than-expected third quarter results provided the immediate trigger. In a generally weak market, it also drew day-traders' interest, perking up the traded volume. For sometime, the stock had been moving within a range of Rs 97 and Rs 120.The 52-week high is Rs 160 on the NSE.

The profit from the company's industrial turbine business, which was sold to Siemens, inflated its quarterly profit. It reported a third quarter (2003-04) net of Rs 45.83 crore as against Rs 7.6 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2002.

Alstom is also selling its transmission and distribution business in India to Areva. The deal is to be completed by December 31, 2004.

A few worthwhile orders in the last few months, such as one of Rs 500 crore from GVK for the 228-MW Jegurupadu power project, Rs 84 crore from Balco for setting up pollution control systems and orders worth Rs 98 crore for supply of steam turbines to Indal for its Hirakud unit as also for the Lanco group, have also peppered up growth prospects in the next few quarters.

At Friday's closing, the stock traded at eight times its trailing 12-month earning per share. "Considering the sectoral buzz after the introduction of the Electricity Act and its swelling order book position, the stock appears relatively undervalued compared to its peers," Mr Devarsh Vakil of Anagram Stockbroking commented.

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