Astec LifeSciences Falls 10% on Q4 Loss, Shares Down 44% in 6 Months

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Shares of Astec LifeSciences fell more than 10% in intraday trade on Wednesday to hit a low of Rs 1,212 after the company posted a net loss for the March quarter.

The stock was down 8.5% at Rs 1,236 at 9:45 am with about 2,900 shares traded on the BSE, compared with a two-week average of more than 638 shares. Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.4% to 61,112.

The stock has notably underperformed over the past six months, falling 44%, with a 0.3% gain for the benchmark index.

Astec LifeSciences reported a net loss of Rs 5 crore for the quarter ended March 2023, compared to a net profit of Rs 43.10 crore in the same period last year. Total revenue fell 53.5% year-on-year to Rs 129.50 crore from Rs 278.80 crore.

EBITDA fell 89% YoY to Rs 8 crore from Rs 72.30 crore. For the total FY23, consolidated net profit fell 71.5% year-on-year to Rs 256 crore, while total revenue fell 6.7% to Rs 641.20 crore.

The company said in its press release that revenue and profitability in the fourth quarter were adversely impacted by a further decline in fulfilment rates due to weak demand for key enterprise products.

“High levels of channel inventories in India as well as in key export markets, consequential demand-supply imbalance and subsequent correction in key Active Ingredients (AI) prices mainly pose challenges for the Indian agrochemicals sector in the second half of the year. Astec sees an unprecedented decline in volumes and realisations in the second half of FY23. As a result, the company reports a decline in topline and profitability in FY23 compared to the previous year.

Astec LifeSciences Life is engaged in the manufacture of agrochemical active ingredients (technologies), bulk, formulations and intermediate products. Astec has a healthy mix of export and domestic sales.

Earlier in March 2023, ICRA revised the company’s long-term rating outlook to “stable” from “positive”.

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