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Media stocks drop marginally on the bourses

MUMBAI: The 30-stock Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) sensex registered a 6.74-point drop on Friday, 23 May 2003 to settle at 3,049.84 (3,056.58 last week). The sensex was still above the key resistance level. The NSE Nifty was up 4.7 points to end at 968 (as compared to 973.10). Most of the media stocks dropped marginally.

On 23 May, Zee Telefilms opened the day on the BSE at Rs 79.05; dropped 1.2 per cent to end the day at Rs 77.45 (as compared to Rs 77.45 on 16 May). The volume of shares traded was around 1.47 million shares on 23 May.

On the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the Zee Telefilm scrip started the day at Rs 80.50; dropped 1.14 per cent to end the day at Rs 78.05 (as compared to Rs 77.90 on 16 May). The volume of shares traded was around 3.2 million.

A report titled "Conditional Access or Catch 22 - Who Will Blink First?" compiled by the Citigroup Smith Barney (CSB) report (dated 15 May 2003) says that the intermittent phase (during the implementation of CAS), high news flow risk would make Zee's stock price movements extremely volatile. However, it adds that any postponement of CAS, would be positive for Zee's share price in the sense that it would remove the overhang of

'uncertainty of CAS implementation.

This, says the CSB report, would also postpone the long-term benefits of conditional access - ie, giving Tier 1 broadcasters a fair share of the subscription pie. If CAS is postponed, initiatives of Star/Zee's group companies, which are engaged in roll-out of DTH services, will need to be closely monitored, cautions the CSB report. The report also notes that Zee's head in the sky model for implementation of conditional access can be easily tailored for DTH implementation.

The CSB report retained its In-Line (2H) rating on Zee Telefilms valuation with a price target set at Rs 96. At this price, Zee would trade at 13.5x forward EPS, at the bottom end of its historical trading range, which given the approaching uncertainty as regards earnings dislocation during implementation of conditional access looks fair, says the report.

The Balaji Telefilms scrip ended the day (23 May 2003) at Rs 52.30 (down 4.10 per cent) - as compared to Rs 58.75 on 16 May. The volume traded was 552,832 shares and the counter registered more trades due to the results which were announced on 22 May.

On the NSE, the scrip ended the day at Rs 52.45 (down 4.10 per cent) as compared to Rs 53.80 on 16 May. The volume of shares traded was 1.43 million. Balaji Telefilms annual results will be announced on 22 May.

Several analysts believe that the scrip fell because the 4QFY03 sales/income was lower than that of the previous quarter (3QFY03) despite the fact it was higher than the corresponding one for 4QFY02. Analysts feel that the company will have to make an extra effort to maintain its increase in income and sales.

The Television Eighteen India scrip opened at Rs 85 on 23 May; dropped 3.41 per cent to end the day at Rs 82.10 (as compared to Rs 80.90 on 16 May) on the BSE. On the NSE, it opened at Rs 85.10; dropped 3.70 per cent and ended the day at Rs 81.95 (as compared to Rs 80.75 on 16 May).

Sri Adhikari Brothers Television Network (SABTNL) gained 1.91 per cent to end the day (23 May) Rs 61.30 (as compared to Rs 63.50 on 16 May). On the NSE, the scrip ended the day at Rs 61.70 (up 1.61 per cent) as compared to Rs 63.75 on 16 May.

Cinevistaas opened the day (23 May) at Rs 26.25; dropped 2.23 per cent to end the day at Rs 26.35 (as compared to Rs 28 on 16 May) on the BSE. On the NSE, the scrip opened at Rs 27.5; dropped 0.93 per cent to end the day at Rs 26.55 (as compared to Rs 29.40 on 16 May).

Creative Eye opened the day (23 May) at Rs 15.5; dropped 5.48 per cent to end the day at Rs 14.65 (as compared to Rs 14.25 on 16 May) on the BSE. On the NSE, the scrip dropped 4.55 per cent to end the day at Rs 14.70 (as compared to Rs 14.20 on 16 May).

The ETC Networks scrip ended the day at Rs 42.60 as compared to Rs 48.40 on 16 May on the BSE.

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