Hindustan Unilever gains on hike in product prices

Hindustan Unilever was up 0.57% to Rs 237.10 at 12:19 IST on BSE after reports that the company has hiked prices in nearly all categories of personal care and home care products in an effort to neutralise the impact of rising cost of raw materials.

On BSE, 82,840 shares were traded in the counter. The scrip had an average daily volume of 5.84 lakh shares in the past one quarter.

The stock hit a high of Rs 239.25 and a low of Rs 233.10 so far during the day. The stock had a 52-week high of Rs 256 on 8 April 2008 and a 52-week low of Rs 170 on 22 January 2008.

The large-cap scrip had underperformed the market the market over the past one month till 23 May 2008, declining 5.45% compared to the Sensex's decline of 0.43%. However it outperformed the market in the past one quarter, gaining 9.27% compared to Sensex's decline of 4.03%.

The company's current equity is Rs 220.84 crore. Face value per share is Re 1.

The current price of Rs 237.10 discounts its Q1 March 2008 annualised EPS of Rs 7, by a PE multiple of 33.87.

Hindustan Unilever has reportedly increased the maximum retail prices as well as reduced the packaged weight in an attempt to prevent itself from margin erosion.

Hindustan Unilever is engaged in manufacturing and marketing consumer products. The group operates through seven segments: soaps and detergents, personal products, exports, beverages, foods and ice creams.

Hindustan Unilever (HUL) reported 3% fall in net profit to Rs 380.95 crore on 19.10% rise in net sales to Rs 3793.94 crore in Q1 March 2008 over Q1 March 2007.