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M&E stocks face the bear onslaught

MUMBAI: Media and entertainment (M&E) stocks were severely bruised during the week ended 31 January, as overall sentiment turned bearish in the broader markets.

As the benchmark indices tumbled to their 10-week lows, bears were in no mood to slacken their claws. The sell-off was largely prompted by the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) decision to hike repo rate.

Coinciding with the F&O settlement week, the impact was felt across all categories in the market segment.

Leading counters from the M&E space were pushed lower as they offered opportunity to book profits[Editor1] .

Essel group companies feel the heat

Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL), Dish TV, Zee Media and Siti Cable were among the worse farers on the bourses. Recent run-up in the share price of these stocks opened up the opportunity for bears to take charge.

For ZEEL, this was the third continuous week of losses. The counter settled the week at Rs 265.30, down 4.7 per cent for the week.

In the last 15 trading sessions, ZEEL lost over 10 per cent, making it the worst performer of the group company.

The company did put up a strong performance for the third quarter to December by clocking higher growth in revenues and even faster increase in profits.

Direct-to-home (DTH) service provider Dish TV settled the week 3.6 per cent lower at Rs 47.90 per share. This is the second consecutive week of losses for the company.

Siti Cable lost more than five per cent before ending the week at Rs 20.10 per share. In the previous week, the counter had registered maximum gains among the cable TV companies.

Zee Media, the news channel arm of the Essel Group, eased 4.1 per cent to conclude the week at Rs 12.57 per share.

Mixed bag for MSOs

Leading multi-system operators (MSOs) were not spared either. While Siti Cable suffered the most from investor apathy, DEN Networks and Hathway Cable & Datacom followed suit.

DEN Networks settled the week 1.9 per cent lower at Rs 152.35 per share on the BSE. This was the fourth consecutive week of losses for the company.

Hathway Cable & Datacom edged lower to round up the week at Rs 256.60 per share.

News channels report sad story

News broadcasters are once again hammered down by rampant selling and there is no reprieve within view.

Falling prices amid rising volume do point to negative build-up on these counters.

Leading news channel broadcasters such as TV Today Network, NDTV and TV18 Broadcast remained on the losing side.

TV18 Broadcast suffered the most. The counter settled the week 8.2 per cent lower at Rs 20.20 per share.

TV Today Network suffered losses for the third consecutive week. It settled the week at Rs 98.85 per share, down 3.3 per cent for the week.

NDTV rounded up the week 4.3 per cent lower at Rs 71.50 amid high volumes.

Pull-back of prices in the last trading session of the week prevented these counters from recording sharp losses.

Other broadcasters

Sun TV ended in the positive zone. The counter gained 0.8 per cent for the week before settling at Rs 359.70. Sun TV will be releasing its third quarter result on 7 February. Markets will be hoping for better showing from the company.

Raj Television settled the week almost unchanged at Rs 526.85 per share.

Among RADAG twins, Reliance Broadcast Network (RBNL) ended in the positive territory while Reliance MediaWorks (RMWL) closed the week in red.

The share price of RBNL, the operator of Big FM and Big Magic, edged up 0.8 per cent to settle the week at Rs 64.75 per share. RBNL management had proposed delisting the company from bourses and set the delisting price at Rs 46.47.

RMWL, on the other hand, lost 3.1 per cent to end the week at Rs 49.50. The company is in the film exhibition and services business.

Print companies take a breather

The story was no different for the newspaper publishing companies as they were badly impacted by the new Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2013 data. Most of the counters retreated lower, with the only exception of DB Corp.

DB Corp settled the week marginally higher at Rs 316.30 per share, helped by continued buying. This is the third consecutive week of gains for the company.

HT Media, Hindustan Media Ventures (HMVL) and Jagran Prakashan caved in under excessive selling.

Jagran Prakashan ended the week 1.2 per cent lower at Rs 89.10.

HMVL lost 2.4 per cent before rounding up the week at Rs 131.80.

For HT Media (Fever FM), it was yet another week of loss. It closed the week 1.9 per cent lighter at Rs 74.25.

Other M&E counters tread cautiously

Content provider Balaji Telefilms, which had released its financial performance during the last trading session of the previous week, was heavily beaten down.

The counter settled for the week 15.3 per cent lower at Rs 40.80 per share. Surprisingly, even after reporting operative losses in the third quarter of fiscal FY14, the counter had made into the gainers’ list in the previous week.

Among the other M&E counters, Info Edge continued to be the prime target for traders.

It was the biggest sufferer of selling from traders and investors. The counter was pushed below Rs 500 mark.

During the week under review, Info Edge lost six per cent to settle at Rs 494.15 per share.

Prime Focus returned to losses by losing 3.4 per cent before ending the week at Rs 29.70 per share.

Inox Leisure and PVR were on the losing side, as the third quarter results reported by these companies were not on expected lines.

Meanwhile, on the broader front, the markets witnessed increased volatility as bear force took charge of the proceedings.

The BSE benchmark Sensex snapped two-week gains, losing 620 points after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced interest rate hike alongside US Federal Reserve’s decision to further reduce its monthly bond purchases.

Contraction in Chinese manufacturing was also among the factors behind the drop in Asian markets.

Profit-taking by investors due to expiry of futures and options contract on Thursday and fresh capital outflows also facilitated the bear cause.

Rupee breaching 63 level in relation to the US dollar further dampened the sentiment.

No sector was spared the bear outrage. The selling pressure was witnessed across the board with interest rates related to stocks from the realty, banking and auto sector taking the lead.

The Sensex resumed lower at 20,899.03 and fell further to more than two-month low of 20,343.78 before settling the week at 20,513.85, still showing a loss of 619.71 points or 2.93 per cent.

During the previous two weeks, Sensex had gained 375.07 points or 1.81 per cent.

The NSE 50-share Nifty lost 177.25 points or 2.83 per cent to end at 6,089.50. It had risen 95.30 points or 1.54 per cent in the previous two weeks.

The BSE benchmark touched a two-month intra-day low after RBI increased the short-term lending rate by 0.25 per cent.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold net worth Rs 3,215.97 crore (Rs 32.16 billion) during the week as per the figures issued by the SEBI, including the provisional figure of 31 January.