Astec Lifesciences (Astec) shares surged 14% to Rs 1,474.20 on the BSE in intraday trade on Friday, driven by heavy volume. Shares of the pesticide and agrochemical company have soared 37% over the past two sessions. The S&P BSE Sensex is up 2% over the same period.
At 1:07 pm, the stock was up 10%, compared with a 1.5% gain for the benchmark index. Average volumes traded over the counter jumped more than threefold today. A total of about 560,000 shares changed hands on the NSE and BSE.
With the past two-day rally, the stock has rebounded 40% from its 52-week low of Rs 1,050 hit on Tuesday, March 28. It has more than halved from its 52-week high of 2,285.65 on May 28, 2018. November 17, 2022.
Astec 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.
For the first nine months (April-December) of the 2022-23 fiscal year (9MFY23), the company reported a 34.7% year-on-year drop in profit after tax at Rs 30.6 crore compared to Rs 46.8 crore in the year-ago period. However, revenue rose 25.3% year-on-year to Rs 511.70 crore.
EBITDA fell 11.9% year-on-year to Rs 81.30 crore. EBITDA margin contracted 670 bps to 15.9% in 9MFY23, compared to 22.6% in 9MFY22.
Astec said the company’s key products had seen low demand and fulfilment rates in most markets. However, CMO sales increased 2.8 times year-over-year, partially offsetting the decline in enterprise business sales.
The 11% YoY decline in domestic sales in 9MFY23 was due to a focus on export business amid sluggish demand in the domestic market and improved exports.