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Mukta Arts touches all-time low
March 31, 2003 15:46 IST
Investors drew a none too happy picture for Mukta Arts after initial reports that the company's new film release was not pulling in the crowd.
The scrip of the media company plunged 6.27% to Rs 45.60. However, at that point, it was above its all time low of Rs 45.45 hit earlier in the day. A total of 19,552 Mukta Arts shares were registered on BSE by 12:40 IST. The scrip has now lost 18.6% from Rs 56 on 22 March 2003.
The fall in the scrip is attributed to the general weakness in the market as well as on disappointment over the fact that initial response to the company's new release, Ek Aur Ek Gyarah, which premiered on 28 March 2003, was none too inspiring. Ek Aur Ek Gyara is a medium-budget movie directed by David Dhawan. The film has Sanjay Dutt and Govinda along with Amrita Arora and Nandini Singh in the lead roles.
Analysts say expectations over the new film were much too high. In contrast, the film has a rather stale storyline and heros, who seem well past their peak. In any case, the film is expected to break even. The film, thankfully, has been received well in North India and the key market of Mumbai. One hit movie, perhaps, could volubly change the fortunes of the stock and the company. But so long as the hit is not forthcoming, marketmen advise investors to avoid the scrip.
Four of the company's films are slated for release in 2003. In the next two years, Mukta Arts plans a wide variety of movies in various categories including comedy, action, thriller and romance. The directors selected are quite reputed. And, the music bears the Mukta Arts trademark of superior quality.
Earlier, the company forayed into television software to de-risk its business model from the previous focus on blockbuster films alone. Mukta Prime'3 Teleworks is a subsidiary of Mukta Arts and commenced shooting for its first project 'Archana Aaa-Haa' on 15 September. Mukta Prime'3 Teleworks has been set up to develop a number of drama series, talk shows, serials, sitcoms and telefilms. The company said it has an excellent team of directors and executives comprising Meghna Ghai, Archana Puran Singh, Parmeet Sethi and Shenaz Nadirshah.
Analysts say despite the foray into television productions, it would be filmmaking from where the company can expect a major windfall.
For the quarter ended 31 December 2002, Mukta Arts posted a 40% fall in sales. Correspondingly, costs were also lower, resulting in a lower loss of Rs 2.2 million at the operating level as against a loss of Rs 6.8 million in the corresponding previous period. Other income was down by 42% to Rs 4.9 crore. While interest charges were marginal at Rs 100,000, down 28%, depreciation was down by 7% at Rs 8.2 million. With no provision for taxation (Rs 1.11 crore in the corresponding previous period) and provision of Rs 9.2 million for deferred taxation, the profit after tax was down by 33% to Rs 3.84 crore. Mukta Arts' performance was not very impressive, as none of its films were released during this period. More Hot Pursuits
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