L&T shares close 2.16% higher on revenue outlook, job cuts
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Delhi/ Mumbai: Larsen & Toubro Ltd jumped the most in six months as India’s biggest engineering company maintained its growth forecast even after eliminating over a tenth of its workforce.
Though the stock closed 2.16% higher at Rs1,357.85, it rose as much as 4.2%—the highest since 26 May and turned out to be the biggest gainer during the day.
“First, projects are moving faster than expected. Second, completed projects have doubled over the base year. Third, abandoned projects dropped by three-fifths,” IDBI Capital said in a research note as it upgraded the stock to ‘accumulate’ from ‘hold’. “L&T is a key beneficiary of roads, power transmission, water, affordable housing and the infrastructure-led orders.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration, which faces crucial elections across several states next year, aims to spend as much as $14.5 billion in the year to March on expanding India’s network of roads and ports, amid slowing private investment. The move will benefit Larsen as it is India’s biggest builder of roads and power plants.
Larsen cut about 14,000 jobs over the past six months, or about 11% of the group’s total workforce that spans businesses from information technology to financial services, chief financial officer R. Shankar Raman said in a press conference in Mumbai on Tuesday. The company also said it sees revenues rising 12 % to 15 % for the year ending in 31 March , with order inflows rising 15% .
However, India’s surprise move to ban high-denominated bills could affect the company’s execution of civil and real estate projects in the near term, brokerage Sharekhan Ltd said in a research note. On Tuesday, Larsen said net profit rose 84% to Rs1,430 crore ($209 million) for the three months ended in September.
“The investment momentum has returned,” Raman said, “Ordering and decision on awards are beginning to kick in the domestic market and we hope it would be sustained in remaining quarters of the year.” Bloomberg