The dampner to rising prices witnessed a day before is believed to be the lack luster results announced by the heavy weight Carson Cumberbatch and Bukit Darah which also owns a 45.6% stake in Carson. In 1Q FY2013, Carsons reported a profit after tax of Rs.27.3m as opposed to the 1Q FY2012 figure of Rs.5.7billion. While Bukit Darah, posted an after tax profit of Rs.26.3m in 1Q FY2013 when compared with the figure of Rs.6.8 billion for 1Q FY2012. The shares of Carson declined by Rs.13.40 to close at Rs.439.00 and Bukit Darah shed Rs.33.40 to close at Rs.714.40.
Nevertheless, in the past year (2011/2012), the group recorded a 5% growth in net profit to reach Rs.10 billion, despite the Rs.938 million loss on oils and fats, and as well as the plantations sector profits being flat and contributing only about 14% towards the overall profit.
On Thursday, the market experienced rapid price increases in several counters with the result that the ASPI shot up by 15.19 points to close at 4960.05, while the Milanka increased by 38.64 points to close at 4395.66 and the turnover achieved during the day was Rs.754m. The highest turnover in the past week was achieved on Tuesday at Rs.1.9 billion. The block trades that contributed to high volumes were JKH (1.2m shares) and HNB (360,000 shares) and a promising feature for the stock market was that these were due to foreign purchases. The average turnover recorded during the shortened trading week was Rs.823m. Despite the pullback witnessed on the indices on Friday, the foreign inflow remained positive with foreign purchases being recorded remaining higher than foreign sales throughout the week. Foreign purchases on Tuesday increased to a staggering Rs.1.6 billion, and the net foreign inflow for the day was Rs.1.5 billion accounting for 78% of total turnover for the day.
The focus of retail investors who were taking a flier on stocks were evident with price increases witnessed in certain stocks. Stocks that started looking up despite the declines witnessed on Friday were Keells Food Products up Rs. 4.50 to close at Rs.74.90, Shaw Wallace up Rs.22.60 to close at Rs.296.60, Richard Pieris Exports up Rs.1.60 to close at Rs.22.90, Colombo Pharmacy upRs.24.70 to close at Rs.600.00 and Tangerine up Rs.7.40 to close at Rs.77.90.
(Courtesy: Innovest Investments (Pvt) Ltd – an Investment Management Company licensed by the Securities & Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka)