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Why Marico share price rose 6% today despite 50% fall in Q4 profit

Aseem Thapliyal     May 5, 2020

Marico share price closed higher today despite the FMCG firm logging a 50.62 percent fall in consolidated net profit in Q4. Share price of Marico ended 4.10% higher at Rs 296 compared to the previous close of Rs 284.40 on BSE. Marico stock has gained after 5 days of consecutive fall. The large cap stock opened with a gain of 2.32% at Rs 291 on BSE. Share price of Marico touched an intraday high of Rs 301.65  up 6.07%  on BSE.

The FMCG stock stands higher than 5 day, 20 day and 50 day moving averages but lower than 100 day and 200 day moving averages. Marico share has lost 17% during as one year and fallen 13.37% since the beginning of this year.

Marico on Monday reported a 50.62 per cent decline in consolidated net profit at Rs 199 crore in Q4 due to COVID-19 related disruptions. The company posted a net profit of Rs 403 crore in January-March quarter a year ago, Marico said.

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Its net sales dropped 7.02 per cent to Rs 1,496 crore during the quarter under review as compared with Rs 1,609 crore in the corresponding quarter of previous year.

However, brokerages were upbeat on the prospects of the stock.

"Company's margin beat drives a positive earnings surprise. The company expects copra price deflation which improves FY21 margin visibility," global brokerage Jefferies said in a note. Jefferies remained positive on the stock and gave a 'buy' call with a target price of Rs 400 per share.The stock offers attractive risk-reward and remains one of our top picks, the brokerage said.

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Taking into account higher margin, Jefferies revised upward Marico's FY21 earnings per share forecast. Current utilisation at 75 percent signals a gradual stabilisation, Jefferies said.

Credit Suisse sees the company's ad spends 100 bps lower and overall EBITDA margin to remain flat on an year on year basis in FY21.

Another brokerage Kotak Institutional Equities (KIE) said the Q4 print of the company was decent in context of COVID-led disruption. It continues to find the risk-reward balance attractive. KIE maintained Buy call with a target price of Rs 350 per share and trimmed FY21-22 earnings estimates by 2-4 percent.

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