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News channels gain in an election year

MUMBAI: News broadcasters are a happy lot. For the week ended 10 January, their share prices have gathered momentum amid heightened investor interest reflected in a spurt in trading volumes.

Analysts attribute this to bottom finishing by investors who are optimistic about the news channels showing growth in the next six months due to elections.

The recently concluded assembly elections in four states, coupled with the subsequent interest generated by the emergence of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on the national political scene, have created enough news bytes to keep viewers hooked, said an analyst with the leading brokerage firm.

The drop in prices has also provided opportunity for bottom fishing in select counters, added the analyst.

Similar views were aired by most analysts tracking the media and entertainment (M&E) sector.

Meanwhile, newspaper publishing companies and private FM radio operates also enjoyed their share of fortune from the ongoing development on the political front.

Select satellite television channel broadcasters in the general entertainment genre ended the week on a positive note.

News channels buck the trend

News broadcasters such as TV Today Network, NDTV, TV18 Broadcast and Zee Media witnessed a revival in fortune as viewers flocked to keep abreast with the latest political development.

Expectations of high spending on the ensuing general election undermined the nagging issues plaguing news broadcasters until now.

newschannel02Cashing in on the ongoing extravaganza, several newscasters have lined up shows dealing with various aspects of politics that are presented by renowned personalities from the M&E world.

This development has come to the rescue of news channels that were grappling with the changing business dynamics after the enforcement of the new ad cap regulation.

NDTV, which operates Englishnews channel 24×7, Hindi news channel NDTV India and business news channel NDTV Profit, recorded maximum gain in its share price for the just concluded week.

The company’s share price ended at Rs 82.90, up 11.05% for the week. In the process, the company recorded its new monthly and weekly high of Rs 92.55.

Piggybacking frenzied buying, the counter logged a huge surge in volume. Few trading sessions saw trading volume almost double its daily averages.

TV Today Network, which operates Hindi news channel Aaj Tak and English news channel Headlines Today, settled the week 7.12% higher at Rs 118.10 per share. In the previous week, the counter had slipped to its weekly low.

Zee Media gained 1.15% to settle the week at Rs 14.02.

TV18 Broadcast, the operator of CNN-IBN, IBN 7, CNBC TV18 and Awaaz, closed the week on the higher side. Its share price edged 1.92% up for the week at Rs 23.85. This was the second consecutive week of gain for the company.

Newspaper publishers, FM radio on strong footing

Newspaper publishers and FM radio operators improved upon their showing on the bourses. Companies playing dual operations, such as print publications and private FM radio channels, consolidated further their recent gains.

It may be recalled that last week, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) provided the private FM radio operators some breather by extending the date of signing the migration Grant of Permission Agreement (GOPA).

Hindustan Media Ventures Limited (HMVL), the leading Hindi newspaper publishing company, collected higher gains this week.

HMVL’s counter added 7.86% for the week before settling at Rs 123.45. This was a straight fourth week of gain for the counter.

The growing readership of its daily newspaper in Uttarakhand, the state where assembly elections were concluded last month, is having a favourable sway over its share price.

Jagran Prakashan edged up to Rs 85.50 per share.

For Entertainment Network (India) Limited, operator of Radio Mirchi, it was a back-to-back second week of gain. After adding 4.09% in the previous week, the counter ended 3.40% stronger this week to settle at Rs 338.00 per share.

HT Media (Fever FM) also saw another week of gain. The counter added 2.78% before ending the week at Rs 81.30 per share. DB Corp (My FM) advanced 2.93% to end at Rs 296.40 per share.

Meanwhile, for Reliance Broadcast Network (RBNL), the operator of Big FM and television channels, and Reliance Mediaworks (RMWL), the going continues to be tough. Both the counters recorded losses for the second consecutive week.

RBNL lost 1.90% to settle at Rs 61.92 per share while RMWL dropped 3.52% to end at Rs 47.95.

Broadcasters tread with caution

Television entertainment broadcasters continue to tread cautiously. With investors adhering to selective buying while staying focused on the forthcoming quarterly performance, the performance of the broadcasters was reminiscent of the previous week’s showing.

Zee Entertainment Enterprise Limited (ZEEL) and Raj TV continued to charm investors.

ZEEL scaled new heights during the week amid increased investor participation. The counter added 5% during the week before settling at Rs 295.20 per share. It had clocked its multi-year highs of Rs 298.00 during Friday’s session.

The company will declare its third quarter performance on 22 January. Analysts are hopeful of the company recording strong growth in both topline and bottomline.

Raj Television continued to dominate the investor psychology. The counter logged its third consecutive week of gains by settling the week 1.88% higher at Rs 503.30 per share, marginally off its 52-week high of Rs 504.00 registered on 7 January 2014.

Sun TV ended in the negative zone yet again. The counter lost 0.97% for the week before settling at Rs 365.95. Heavy selling pushed the counter further lower to new one-month low.

BAG Film settled 1.33% higher at Rs 3.04 per share.

MSOs and Dish TV take on chin

The decision of the leading MSOs to adopt identical billing model and uniform package in Mumbai failed to impress the investor community at large.

The leading counters were hammered out of shape on the bourses during the week under review.

DEN Networks and Hathway Cable & Datacom eroded more than 4% in their market value while Dish TV, the lone listed direct-to-home (DTH) operator, doubled its losses.

DEN Networks lost 4.16% for the week to end at Rs 153.30 per share on BSE. This was its second consecutive week of loss.

Hathway Cable & Datacom also ended 4.16% lower at Rs 263.90 per share.

Siti Cable was the only face-saver among the MSOs. Siti Cable gained 1.14% before ending the week at Rs 17.75 per share.

Dish TV accelerated losses as investors continued to book profits. The counter lost 8.40% to conclude the week at Rs 52.35 per share.

Other M&E counters tread thin ice

Leading content provider Balaji Telefilms eased 1.51 % to Rs 42.45 a share.

Prime Focus, the equipment provider to broadcasters, surged 13.29% before ending the week at Rs 32.40 per share.

Among other M&E counters Info Edge, Inox Leisure, Jagran Prakashan and Eros International Media clocked better to segment gains while PVR ended lower.

Info Edge reversed its previous two weeks of losses in style. The counter clocked gains of 7.97% over its previous week settlement price. It ended the week at Rs 496 per share.

In the meantime, the broader markets of the previous week remained topsy-turvy for lack of global cues, besides discouraging domestic macro-economic trend.

Index Industrial production (IIP) fell 2.1% in November, marking the second consecutive month of contraction, the data released by the statistics office on Friday showed.

Apparently, the Sensex declined 0.6% while it had slipped 1.65% in the previous week. The CNX Nifty lost 0.64% to 6,171.45 after shedding 1.62% in the previous week.

IT stocks gained on Friday after Infosys raised revenue growth guidance for FY14. Infosys gained 2.84% to 3,548.90, Tech Mahindra rose 3% to Rs 1,881.75 and TCS was up 1.7% to 2,281.80.

Foreign Institutional investors’ net outflows were at Rs 382 crore or $61 million, first such weekly sale since 30 August 2013.