August 9, 2018 / 4:19 AM / a month ago

BUZZ-India's Cipla hits near 9-mth high on Q1 profit beat

** India’s third-largest drugmaker by market capitalisation Cipla Ltd’s shares rise as much as 4.7 pct to 662.5 rupees, its highest since Nov 2017

** Stock is among top pct gainers on NSE index

** Q1 profit of 4.51 bln rupees ($65.82 mln) tops estimates, helped by strong growth in the domestic market

** “While Cipla has a strong India/SA (south Africa) business, which is seeing steady growth, the key driver going forward is US ramp-up where execution has been below expectations,” Jefferies analysts write

** Citi analysts remain positive on cos’s ability to outperform most peers on earnings, given its strong branded business, low vulnerability to U.S. pricing and improving quality of launches; maintain ‘buy’ with PT of 690 rupees

** More than 2.5 mln shares traded as of 0411 GMT, compared with 30-day avg volume of 2.4 mln

** 26 of 38 brokerages rate the stock “buy” or higher, ten “hold” and two “sell” or lower; their median PT is 620 rupees ($1 = 68.5200 Indian rupees)

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