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Last Updated : Feb 21, 2020 02:16 PM IST | Source:

IRCTC rallies 500% since listing; is the end of the road near?

Analysts are attributing the recent success of the scrip to its comprehensive business model, natural monopoly and strong financials.

  • bselive
  • nselive
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Shares of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has been on a stellar run since its listing in October 2019.

The scrip has returned a whopping 500 percent on its list price of Rs 320 per share.


It hit a fresh all-time high of Rs 1,977 on February 20 to finally settle at Rs 1,912 apiece.

After a bumper listing, the stock had witnessed consolidation during the last two months of calendar 2019, trading in the range of Rs 890-930.

The fresh upswing kick-started on hopes of a positive Q3 and augmented substantially after the numbers beat Street estimates.

On a standalone basis, IRCTC's net profit jumped 179.6 percent to Rs 205.80 crore in Q3FY20 against from Rs 73.60 crore in the year-ago period. Net sales rose 64.6 percent year-on-year to Rs 715.98 crore in the October-December period versus Rs 435.01 crore.

Post Q3, the shares of IRCTC have advanced by Rs 484, a 33.9 percent rise in just six sessions.

Analysts are attributing the recent success of the scrip to its comprehensive business model, natural monopoly and strong financials.

"IRCTC provides a one-stop solution to its customers, which gives IRCTC an upper hand over rivals, especially in the travel and tourism segment. Further, it has decent financials, zero debt on books and a strong balance sheet," said Ajit Mishra, VP – Research, Religare Broking.

The company has multiple moats such as its online ticketing business, its catering services and its packaged drinking water line that shall help the company post robust numbers in the future.

"IRCTC is the only company authorised by Indian Railways to manufacture and sell packaged drinking water on railway stations and inside trains. The ‘Rail Neer’ packaged drinking water business provides a lot of revenue visibility. With more plants being set up, this segment will certainly drive the company’s topline," said Nirali Shah, Senior Research Analyst, Samco Securities.

In October 2019, days before its listing on the bourses, IRCTC was commissioned to operate Tejas Express making it the country's first private train operator. And with the recent launch of Kashi Mahakal Express, IRCTC now has three trains in its fleet, a number expected to grow over the years.

Another positive for the scrip was its addition to the Nifty midcap index which provided an impetus to fund manager to get onboard.

"Institutional holding rose 200 bps to 7.1 percent from listing till December 31, 2019, and the categorisation of the company as midcap based on half-year ended Dec 2019 could attract some more buying from mutual funds," said Deepak Jasani- Head, Retail Research, HDFC Securities Ltd.

However, analysts suggest remaining cautious going forward citing the rising disparity between IRCTC's fundamentals and stock price.

"The stock price doesn’t fully justify the fundamentals of the company. As it is only from September 2019 that Indian Railways decided to restore service charges by levying a service charge of Rs 15 per Non-AC ticket and Rs 30 for AC tickets, which were withdrawn three years ago. This added to the exorbitant growth in the top line of the company this quarter. Now with this high base, it would be difficult to meet up the current growth rate in the following quarters. Hence, a correction is expected in IRCTC going ahead," Shah added.

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First Published on Feb 21, 2020 09:13 am
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