Thursday, January 31, 2008

Reddy's, Larsen, Tata Tea, Britannia, Jet: India Stock Preview

By Pratik Parija and Shailendra Bhatnagar

Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- The following stocks may rise or fall in Mumbai today. Prices refer to yesterday's close unless otherwise stated. The preview includes news that broke after the markets shut. Stock symbols are in brackets after company names.

The Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensitive Index, or Sensex, fell 1.1 percent to 18,152.78. The S&P/CNX Nifty Index on the National Stock Exchange declined 2 percent to 5,274.10.

The Reserve Bank of India is scheduled to review benchmark interest rates at noon today.

Overseas investors bought a net 6.69 billion rupees ($166 million) of Indian shares on Jan. 25, according to the nation's stock market regulator.

Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd. (DRRD IN): Lehman Brothers cut its share price estimate of the Indian drugmaker to 618 rupees from 832 rupees. It also lowered its rating on the stock to `equal-weight' from `overweight'. Dr. Reddy's fell 40.35 rupees, or 6.7 percent, to 565.05.

Larsen & Toubro Ltd. (LT IN): Macquarie Research raised its share price estimate for India's biggest construction and engineering company to 4,695 rupees from 4,269 rupees, while maintaining its `outperform' rating. Larsen fell 45.9 rupees, or 1.2 percent, to 3,844.5.

Tata Tea Ltd. (TT IN): Citigroup Global Markets Inc. raised its share price estimate for India's largest tea maker to 1,200 rupees from 1,045 rupees earlier, while retaining its `buy' rating on the share. Tata Tea fell 2.8 rupees, or 0.4 percent, to 790.6.

Britannia Industries Ltd. (BRIT IN): The Indian cookie maker said third-quarter profit more than doubled to 454 million rupees ($11.5 million) from 164 million rupees a year earlier. Sales rose 16 percent to 6.63 billion rupees. Britannia fell 37.50 rupees, or 2.5 percent, to 1,449.30.

Indian Hotels Co. (IH IN): The nation's biggest hotel company said third-quarter profit rose 31 percent to 1.35 billion rupees in the quarter ended Dec. 31 from a year earlier. Sales rose 15 percent to 5.27 billion rupees. Indian Hotels rose 4.2 rupees, or 3.1 percent, to 140.2.

Jet Airways (India) Ltd. (JETIN IN): The nation's biggest domestic carrier posted its first loss in five quarters after record fuel prices eroded gains from carrying more passengers, it said yesterday. The carrier had a net loss of 911.2 million rupees in the three months ended Dec. 31 compared with net income of 400.4 million rupees a year earlier. Jet rose 9.4 rupees, or 1.3 percent, to 752.4.

To contact the reporters on this story: Pratik Parija in New Delhi at ; Shailendra Bhatnagar in New Delhi at .

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