Mumbai: Shares of Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (Bhel) on Friday closed at over 29-month low after the company reported weaker-than-expected earnings as it executed fewer orders.

The stock hit a low of 102.40, a level last seen on 28 August 2013. In intra-day trade, it fell as much as 14.9%. It closed at 104.55—a level last seen on 22 August 2013—down 13.13%. The stock closed lower for the fifth consecutive session. So far this year, it has fallen 36.74%.

The company reported a loss of 1,101.99 crore in December quarter. The loss was due to 1,090 crore provision, which the company made towards customer receivables.

“Bhel’s gross margins disappointed at 35.2% due to higher sales contribution from EPC (engineering procurement construction) projects. Further, low-margin super critical projects form 47% of the current order book. We think gross margins could sustain around current levels over FY18E/FY19E," Religare Securities said in a note to its investors.

“We believe key weakness in the stock would now emanate from Bhel’s poor P&L metrics and margins, even as order inflows may not disappoint. Deterioration in the company’s margin profile is higher than expected and may not recover through FY17-FY19," the report said.

The broking firm has downgraded the stock to “sell" from “hold" and kept its target price of 85 a share.

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