Hindustan Unilever (HUL), the fast moving consumer goods company (FMCG), entered into the list of the top-5 most valuable companies by market capitalisation (m-cap) as the stock price of the company hit a new high on Wednesday.
With an m-cap of Rs 3.06 trillion, HUL now features at fifth position in the list by replacing India’s largest mortgage financier, Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) in this prestigious club. HDFC reported m-cap of Rs 3.03 trillion at 01:20 pm. HUL is now six per cent away to surpass FMCG gait ITC, which have m-cap of Rs 3.24 trillion, the BSE data shows.
HUL hit a new high of Rs 1,417, up two per cent on the BSE, as compared to 0.13 per cent rise in the S&P BSE Sensex. The stock surpassed its previous high of Rs 1,410 recorded on January 30, 2018 during intra-day trade.
In past one month, HUL has outperformed the market by gaining nine per cent on expectation of strong volume growth in March 2018 quarter (Q4FY18). On comparison, the benchmark index was up 1.9 per cent, while HDFC was down 0.22 per cent during the same period.
“We expect HUL to record a volume growth of around 5‐6 per cent YoY on a base of four per cent reported in Q4FY17 (volumes grew at 11 per cent YoY in Q3FY17 on a base of negative four per cent). Volume growth is likely to be stronger on the back of improving sentiment and preference towards HUL products such as Lever Ayush, etc wholesale trade and CSD (canteen stores department) channel rebalancing; and MT (modern trade) and cash and carry channel continuing its good run,” the brokerage firm Edelweiss Securities said in result preview.
“HUL’s volume growth is likely to be the second highest in 10 quarters at seven per cent, as rural continues to do well and both CSD/wholesale seem to have normalized for them (sales growth is likely to be at 9.4 per cent). EBITDA margin should expand 110bp YoY,” Motilal Oswal Securities in result preview.