IRCTC hits lower circuit for 8th straight day, declines 58% in one month

Topics IRCTC | Buzzing stocks | Coronavirus

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Shares of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) were locked in the lower circuit band for eighth consecutive day on Wednesday, down 5 per cent at Rs 816 on the BSE on concerns over poor earnings due to cancellation of trains in order to curb the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19). In comparison, the S&P BSE Sensex was up 5 per cent or 1,360 points at 28,034 at 01:10 pm.

The stock of the state-owned travel support services company hit a five-month low, and was trading at its lowest level since October 22, 2019. In the past one month, it has tanked 58 per cent, against a 30 per cent decline in the benchmark index. IRCTC had made a stock market debut on October 14, 2019.

To curb the coronavirus outbreak, Railway Minister, Piyush Goyal, on March 22, 2020 announced that all passenger train services of Indian Railways including premium trains, mail/express trains, Konkan Railway, etc will be cancelled till March 31.

The outbreak of Covid-19 has made travellers reconsider going on vacation in this middle of a global pandemic, putting pressure on travel and tourism industry.

IRCTC is the only entity authorized by the Indian Railways to provide catering services to railways, online railway tickets and packaged drinking water at railway stations and trains in India. It has a dominant position in the online rail bookings/packaged drinking water with around 73 per cent/45 per cent market share, respectively.

IRCTC stock had a dream run in  the first two months of the current calendar year 2020. It zoomed 109 per cent to hit a record high of Rs 1,995 on February 25, 2020 on robust October-December 2019 quarter (Q3FY20) results. In comparison, the S&P BSE Sensex declined 2 per cent during the same period.

For Q3FY20, IRCTC posted a strong profit growth on the back of healthy performance from e-ticketing services. The profit before tax (PBT) from e-ticketing services jumped an over five times to Rs 193 crore in Q3FY20 as compared to Rs 36 crore in the same quarter of the previous year. The revenue from the segment jumped four times to Rs 227 crore as against Rs 55 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

Overall, IRCTC posted a net profit of Rs 206 crore in the December quarter, as against Rs 74 crore in the year-earlier quarter. The total revenue of the company rose to Rs 716 crore from Rs 435 crore in the year-ago quarter.

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