Tata Steel strengthens

Tata Steel rose 3.54% to Rs 690 at 13:15 IST on BSE on reports the company is looking at acquiring an iron ore mine in Western Australia to supply iron ore to Corus' plants.

Meanwhile, the BSE Sensex was down 20.81 points, or 0.16%, at 13448.32.

On BSE, 6.46 lakh shares were traded in the counter. The scrip had an average daily volume of 12.36 lakh shares in the past one quarter.

The stock hit a high of Rs 692.90 and a low of Rs 660 so far during the day. The stock had a 52-week high of Rs 969.80 on 29 October 2007 and a 52-week low of Rs 471.07 on 17 August 2007.

The scrip had underperformed the market over the past one month till 11 July 2008, falling 22.26% compared to the Sensex's 11.67% decline. It had, however, outperformed the market in the past one quarter, falling 3.76% compared to Sensex's 14.79% fall.

The sixth largest steel producer in the world with 28.1 million tonnes of annual capacity has an equity capital of Rs 730.58 crore. Face value per share is Rs 10.

The current price of Rs 690 discounts its Q4 March 2008 annualised EPS of Rs 65.98, by a PE multiple of 10.45.

Media reporters quoted a Tata Steel exectuive as saying that it was only logical for the company to look for iron ore mines in Western Australia since the region had huge reserves.

The company's net profit rose 9.20% to Rs 1205.51 crore on 15.20% rise in net sales to Rs 5736.69 crore in Q4 March 2008 over Q4 March 2007.

Tata Steel is engaged in manufacture and distribution of steel, welded steel tubes, cold rolled strips, bearings and other related products and services. The company, along with its associates, has operations in 24 countries and commercial presence in more than 50 countries. The steel maker owns Corus, Tata Steel Thailand (formerly Millennium Steel) and NatSteel Asia.