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Rakesh Jhunjhunwala sets the stage for the bull market in HT Media

MUMBAI: The HT Media counter saw a new visitor in 2014: Rakesh Jhunjhunwala. With the India’s stock market bull showing interest in the print major, expect action to follow in the coming weeks.

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala 1Jhunjhunwala’s investment company RARE Enterprises purchased 1.5 million shares of HT Media for Rs 10.68 crore ( Rs 106.8 million) from the open market.

RARE Enterprise bought HT Media equity share at Rs 71.25 a piece, which was close to the day-low price of Rs 70.40. The deal brought cheers to the counter as it trended higher thereafter.

This single deal, valued at Rs 10.68 crore ( Rs 106.8 million), is almost half the total turnover of Rs 25.69 crore ( Rs 256.9 million) recorded on the HT Media counter on the BSE.

The counter clocked volume of 3.3 million shares on the BSE, which is an 84.51-time surge over two-week average daily volume of 39,000 shares.

A sharp surge in volume guided the counter eight per cent higher for the day before settling at Rs 77.50.

Similar trend in trading activity was witnessed on the NSE. The HT Media counter clocked in huge volume amid sharp gain in price. It settled the session at Rs 78.60 per share, up 9.5 per cent, amid increased trading volume.

The counter exchanged 3.5 million equity shares, thereby grossing a turnover of Rs 25.58 crore ( Rs 255.8 million) for the day.

During third quarter ended December 2013, HT Media achieved highest topline and operating profit. Strong print media ad growth and higher circulation income helped the company to report a six per cent increase in operating income to Rs 581.3 crore ( Rs 5.81 billion) as well as a 25 per cent increase in net profit to Rs 67 crore ( Rs 670 mn).

As a whole, the company’s performance remained highly encouraging, as all business verticals put in a strong show during the quarter.

In Q3FY14 earnings release, the company also indicated ongoing corporate restructuring.

HT Digital, the digital subsidiary of HT Media, filed a petition in the Delhi High Court for reduction in its equity capital by Rs 159.4 crore ( Rs 1.59 billion) to Rs 17.24 crore ( Rs 172.4 million). HT Media said it would write off the amount to the extent of reduction in HT Digital’s equity capital and expected no impact on its consolidated financial results.

HT Media invested Rs 34.89 crore ( Rs 348.9 million) in HT Digital over the past six months.

Firefly e-Ventures (FEVL), another subsidiary of HT Media via HT Digital, transferred its online job portal Shine.com to HT Media. FEVL also transferred its movie review and rating business (desimartini.com) on a slump sale basis to Top Movies Entertainment, another subsidiary of HT Media. HT Media invested Rs 2 crore ( Rs 20 million) in Top Movies Entertainment.

Desimartini, then a social networking site, was acquired by HT Media in 2007 for an undisclosed amount.

HT Media subsidiaries include HT Media Holdings, HT Education, Topmovies Entertainment, Ed World, HT Global, IESPL, HT Mobile, Firefly e-Ventures and Ivy Talent.