Stock sale

Phoenix Mills promoters sell stake worth ₹3.74 billion as it hits a 52-week high

Even as the narrative over the real estate slowdown grows louder, one company in this space has been weathering the storm. Strong earnings performance over the past two quarters has turned the sentiment around for Phoenix Mills. From a 52-week low of Rs.491 last October, the stock hit an all-time high of Rs.766 this September. In Q1FY20, the realty company’s topline grew 49% YoY to Rs.6.15 billion, driven by higher revenue from the residential segment.

As strong financials helped the stock reach new heights, promoter Atul Ruia has pared his stake. The Ruia family, including Atul Ruia Family Trust, has sold 3.59% for Rs 3.74 billion on September 27, making it the promoters’ first disposal over the past five years. Promoter stake had remained unchanged at 62.75% between December 2018 and June 2019.

The positive sentiment is echoed by analysts, who remain upbeat about the company’s prospects. Besides its residential business, Phoenix Mills’ core portfolio comprising retail malls, commercial and hospitality properties is showing signs of steady growth. In Q1FY20, the core portfolio registered revenue of Rs.4.07 billion, in-line with analyst estimates.

Analysts at Motilal Oswal Securities are also betting on Phoenix Mills as a play on India’s retail growth story. They observe that the company’s “strong track record of execution, scalability and robust cash generation” make it an attractive bet.

Mutual funds have increased their stake from 3.59% in December 2018 to 5.13% in June 2019. DSP MF and UTI MF have upped their holding from 0.59% and 0.93% to 1.96% and 1.41%, respectively, over the last two quarters. Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) however aren't feeling as buoyant. They have reduced their stake from 27.93% to 26.88% from December 2018 to June 2019. The largest FPI in the stock, Nordea 1 Sicav - Emerging Stars Equity Fund, has cut its stake from 4.82% to 4.07%.