pharma stocks: Rally in pharma stocks lifts benchmark indices


Mumbai: Shares of pharmaceutical companies remained in favour, rising for the eight day in a row Wednesday amid heavy volumes, as a spike in India’s Covid cases and the prevailing uncertainty in equity markets renewed investor optimism toward defensive sectors.

Long-term structural growth potential driven by anticipated shortage and price increases prompted investors to shuffle their bets in favour of pharma companies. On Wednesday, the BSE Healthcare index was the top sectoral performer. It rose 2.2% to its highest level in three months to close at 22,883.08. In comparison, benchmark indices posted marginal gains to extend the rally for the eight straight sessions. The Sensex closed at 60,392.77, up 235.05 points, or 0.39%, from the previous close. The Nifty advanced 90.1 points, or 0.51%, to end at 17,812.40.

On Wednesday, India registered a single-day rise of 7,830 new coronavirus infections, the highest in seven months.

Divi’s Laboratories was the biggest gainer in the BSE 500 universe. The Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical ingredient maker surged nearly 10% after witnessing a phenomenal jump in exports sales for the month of March 2023. The company’s exports rose to $92 million last month against an average sale of $55-60 million in the previous 11 months.

“We forecast double-digit y-y revenue and earnings growth in 4QFY23,” said Sriraam Rathi, health and pharmaceuticals analysts, BNP Paribas India. “India continues to be the key growth market for the pharma sector and we believe the Indian Healthcare sector is on a long-term structural growth path,” he said in a client note.

Sun Pharma and JB Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals are Rathi’s top bets in the pharma space, while Dr. Lal PathLab is the preferred pick in the healthcare services space. Sun Pharma advanced 0.8% and its clinical stage biopharmaceutical company Sun Pharma Advanced Research Co (SPARC) rose 3.6%.



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