Jaiprakash Associates vaults on brokerage upgrade

Jaiprakash Associates jumped 13.11% to Rs 1720 after foreign brokerage Merrill Lynch upgraded the company's price target to Rs 1800.

Meanwhile the BSE Sensex was down 21.43 points or 0.11% to 19,668.62.

On BSE, 4.98 lakh shares were traded on the counter today. The scrip had an average daily volume of 2.46 lakh shares in the past one quarter.

Shares of the diversified construction company had hit a high of Rs 1782, an all time high on BSE. The stock hit a low of Rs 1540 so far during the day. It touched a 52-week low of Rs 465 on 7 March 2007.

The stock outperformed the market in the one month to 16 November 2007, rising 15.98% as against the Sensex's 9.45% rise. It also outperformed the market in the past three months, advancing 89.63% against the Sensex's 39.29% gain.

The company's current equity is Rs 221.69 crore. Face value per share is Rs 10.

The current market price of Rs 1720 discounts its Q2 September 2007 annualised EPS of Rs 18.91 by a PE multiple of 90.95.

The stock was also boosted by reports that suggested that Jaiprakash Associates (JAL) may sell shares in its 84.28% power unit Jaiprakash Power Venture to fund a planned tripling of power capacity. The power unit will reportedly mop Rs 4000 crore from the initial share sale.

Jaiprakash Associates, the flagship company of the Jaypee Group, is involved in construction of major engineering projects for the last four decades, including complex hydro power/river valley projects, and expressways. The company also has it presence in cement, hospitality and real-estate business.

The company's net profit rose 15.60% to Rs 104 crore on 11.10% rise in net sales to Rs 862 crore in Q2 September 2007 over Q2 September 2006