Continuously rising stake by promoters can lead to an early signal of improving fundamentals and of course, a sharp rise in stock prices. A recent study by Moneylife found that promoters of 71 companies out of the 1,328 companies from our database have increased their stakes in the last four consecutive quarters. It’s unusual to see promoters’ holding increase on a regular basis. They usually step in to buy after a sharp market decline to shore up their holdings. They don’t continuously increase their stake, quarter after quarter in a rising market. If they did, it would not only indicate their confidence about their companies but also show that they are very bullish indeed. This is exactly what has happened. As the Moneylife study found out, rising promoter holding was an early indicator of financial performance and stock price performance.
Promoters’ stake has increased the most in Linc Pen & Plastic, by 41% in the December 2008 quarter to the September 2009 quarter. Its operating profit has grown 164% and the stock has surged 119% in the same period. Promoters of JBF Industries (24%), Hexaware Technologies (22%), Genus Power Infrastructures (14%) also were a very confident lot. These companies have performed very well at the operating level and their stock has been in the investor’s radar over this time period. JBF Industries posted a strong operating profit growth of 50% and its stock soared 230%. Hexaware recorded a 533% rise in operating profit from a low base of last year and its stock rallied 284% in the same period. Genus Power Infrastructures also posted a strong performance as its operating profit grew by 36% and stock rose by 69%. All these companies have recorded significant growth in profit and therefore in share prices.
Promoters in the pharmaceutical sector were especially upbeat. Their holding in eight drug companies increased in each of the past four quarters. Companies like Suven Life Sciences, Shasun Chemicals & Drugs and FDC Limited were some of the pharma stocks that attracted investors’ interest because of their operating profit growth. Shasun, Suven and FDC posted a rise in their operating profit by 549%, 178% and 162% respectively. These three stocks gained 145%, 87% and 50% respectively.
Auto components was another sector where promoters were bullish where Banco Products (India), Autolite (India) and Ramkrishna Forgings posted a rise in operating profit of 205%, 155% and 133% respectively. These three stocks gained 115%, 58% and 128% respectively. Despite the general feeling that the textile companies were in the dumps, many of the spinning companies have been doing well and not surprisingly, promoter activity was intense in many textile companies too. In six companies, there has been a rise in the stake in each of the past four quarters. Nahar Spinning Mills and Eurotex Industries & Exports posted a growth of 492% and 433% in operating profit. Their stock prices grew by 140% and 110% respectively. So, next time, you see promoters increasing their stakes in successive quarters, you know that the financial performance is going to be good and the stock prices would possibly be higher. — By Pratibha Kamath and Subrata Das