Asian Paints is up sharply on Friday, with investors reacting positively to the company's fourth quarter results and picking up the stock.
The stock spurted to a 52-week high of Rs 1288 on the National Stock Exchange (Rs 1287 on BSE). At Rs 1281, the stock is currently up 5.5% from its previous closing price.
On BSE, the Asian Paints counter has clocked a volume of about 2.16 lakh shares so far in the session, about 2.3 times the average daily volume of 91,000 shares. On the National Stock Exchange, the counter has clocked a volume of about 3.64 million shares so far in the session.
The company announced after trading hours on Thursday that it posted standalone net profit of Rs 491.57 crore in the quarter ended March 2018, up 11.5% over year-ago quarter. Revenue from operations increased 13% to Rs 3775.35 crore in the fourth quarter, compared to year-ago quarter. Profit before tax was up nearly 23% at Rs 785.36 crore.
For the twelve months ended March 2018, Asian Paints' revenue from operations increased 11.7% to Rs 14,153.71 crore. PBDIT was up 9.3% at Rs 2920.49 crore and net profit on standalone basis increased 5.2% to Rs 1894.90 crore.
The board of directors of the company recommended a payment of final dividend of 605% or Rs 6.05 per equity share of face value of Re 1. The company had paid an interim dividend of Rs 2.65 per equity share. Thus total dividend announced for the year 2017-18 works out to 870% or Rs 8.70 per share. For the previous financial year, Asian Paints paid total dividend of Rs 10.30 per share, including a special dividend of Rs 2 per share.
Several brokerages have maintained their 'buy' rating for Asian Paints stock. Credit Suisse has upgraded Asian Paints stock to 'neutral' from 'underperform' and has raised its one-year target price for the stock to Rs 1220,
Morgan Stanley remains 'overweight' on the stock and expects the stock to touch Rs 1400 in the next one year, saying the recovery in domestic volume growth is a positive sign and that the company is well placed to benefit from an ongoing acceleration in discretionary consumption growth.