Multiplex, hotel stocks hit 52-week lows on extension of lockdown

Analysts expect theatres to open by June-end.
Shares of multiplex and hotel operators were under pressure, hitting their respective 52-week lows on the BSE on Monday after the government on Sunday extended the nationwide lockdown by another two weeks, until May 31, to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Chalet Hotels, EIH, Indian Hotels, Lemon Tree Hotels and Wonderla Holidays from the hotel sector and the multiplex operators - PVR and Inox Leisure – touched their respective 52-week lows on the BSE today. These stocks were down between 5 per cent and 10 per cent in the intra-day trade. In comparison, the S&P BSE Sensex was down 2.5 per cent at 30,326 points at 10:36 am.

In its fresh guidelines released late on Sunday, the Centre accepted the demands of several states that they be allowed to demarcate zones. The guidelines reiterated that restaurants are permitted to operate kitchens for home delivery of food items. However, the hospitality sector — hotels and restaurants — will remain shut.

The Centre said cinema halls, shopping complexes, malls, swimming pools, gymnasia, large congregations and gatherings — including social, political, cultural, and religious — will remain banned.  CLICK HERE TO READ FULL REPORT

While certain demand is expected to be impacted on account of the ongoing Covid-19 concern, India is also expected to benefit from it as demand for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) from other Asian countries is expected to be diverted to India to some extent, benefits of which will be seen only be seen post FY21, CARE Ratings said in an industry update.

Shares of Inox Leisure (down 11 per cent at Rs 172) and PVR (down 9 per cent 778) slipped over 8 per cent today, extending their 7 per cent fall in the past two trading days, after media reports suggest OTT (over-the-top) platform Amazon Prime Video has acquired seven Bollywood and regional films, including Amitabh Bachchan-Ayushmann Khurrana starrer 'Gulabo Sitabo' and Vidya Balan-starrer 'Shakuntala Devi' for direct-to-digital premiere.

Analysts expect theatres to open by June-end. Also post-Covid, sense of security will be more in multiplexes and single screens making them prune to challenges pertaining to investment, especially for maintenance and sanitization, they say.

Analysts at Edelweiss Securities, however, do not expect popular movies to release on OTT platforms (albeit a few) as cinema screens in general (and multiplex screens in particular) continue to remain the largest revenue source for most movies.

"Until majority of the screens are opened, multiplexes such as PVR and INOX Leisure could start screening popular content and film festivals. We expect occupancy to be low initially given the audience’s reluctance to visit public places and screening of alternate content," the brokerage firm said in a sector update.


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