THE counter of EIH Associated Hotels Ltd, an Oberoi group outfit, has begun to move up on hopes of a smart turnaround.

The stock gained by 1.44 per cent on Tuesday to finish at Rs 67 on the BSE and attracted a traded volume of 2.52 lakh shares.

According to dealers, the expectation was that the company would not only report a profit in the Q4 ended March 31, 2005, but also may be back in the black for the whole year. The company, which has two properties, one in Jaipur and the other in Chennai, had reported profit in the December quarter after recording consecutive losses.

The company sources told Business Line the occupancy rate has been improving quarter on quarter in 2004-05 and the overall growth has been of the order of around 40 per cent over that in the previous fiscal.

Combination of fresh investment, lending of Hilton name and return of tourist flow from overseas, is said to be reason for the buoyancy.

Operators buying seen

The Ganesh Benzoplast stock logged a decent traded quantity of 54,535 shares and moved up 6.15 per cent to close at Rs 7.60 on the BSE on Tuesday.

According to market sources, an operator has started to peddle the idea that his entry into the counter is an indication that the company may report reduced losses . Dealers said that retail investors, who have been stuck in the stock for long, saw it as an opportunity to exit.

The public holding in the stock is 57.92 per cent and the institutional holding is placed at 9.42 per cent, whereas promoters' holding is around 20 per cent of Rs 29.18 crore paid-up capital.

The company had reported a net loss of Rs 136.60 crore in 2003-04 "mainly due to abnormally high raw material cost", according to the management. Though losses have been declining through the first three quarters of the current fiscal, the total loss during the period has mounted to Rs 74.28 crore. The reserves of the company, which showed a figure of Rs 207.73 crore, are under threat of getting wiped out, analysts pointed out.

At the end of the Q3, the company had complained of continued recessionary impact on the chemicals industry.

Up as hurdles cleared?

The Aksh Optifibre stock price on Tuesday moved up by around one per cent to close at Rs 46.34, albeit on small volumes on major bourses.

According to unconfirmed market news, a PIL, which had come in the way of an order by AP Government, has been dismissed by the Court. The Rs 400-crore worth of order is now expected to formally come from the Andhra Pradesh Government for networking the state.

Sources close to the management, however, declined to comment on the litigation or the order. Market sources felt that as further litigation cannot be ruled out at this stage and culmination of the order for the company is still not confirmed, investors are cautiously moving in the counter.

A section of market player, however, is optimistic over the company's prospect of bagging the prized order finally.

The market had re-valued the stock earlier when the management had confirmed the possibility of obtaining the order in January this year.

Jayanta Mallick

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated April 13, 2005)
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