May 27, 2019 / 7:46 AM / 3 months ago

BUZZ-India's Indraprastha Gas jumps as strong volumes drive profit growth

** Shares of Indraprastha Gas Ltd rise 8% to 339.3 rupees, highest since Jan 2018

** March-qtr profit rose ~29% to 2.26 bln rupees ($32.55 mln), beating analysts’ estimates for profit of 2.05 bln rupees, city gas distributor said after market hours on Friday

** Q4 overall sales volume jumped 17% YoY

** At a time when gas prices were relatively high vs. alternative fuels, the sales growth “significantly strengthens our conviction in the Indian gas story as focus on pollution and gas infrastructure rises” - Morgan Stanley in May 26 note

** Maintains ‘overweight’ with TP of 351 rupees; stock top pick in South Asian gas utilities - MS

** Citi raises TP to 380 rupees from 365 rupees, rating ‘buy’

** Gujarat Gas Ltd posted a 77% jump in qtrly net profit after tax earlier this month

** ~6.9 mln shares of Indraprastha Gas change hands, vs 30-day avg of 1.3 mln shares

** Indraprastha Gas shares mark sharpest intraday jump since Nov 2018; stock up 17.5% this year as of last close ($1 = 69.4300 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru)

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