April 30, 2018 / 6:02 AM / 21 days ago

BUZZ-India's Merck Ltd hits record after profit jump

** Shares of Merck Ltd rise as much as 14.1 pct to their all-time high of 2,172.8 rupees

** Stock posts biggest intraday pct gain in a week

** Merck reported here a 53 pct jump in March-qtr profit on Friday, boosted by a 22 pct rise in revenue from its pharmaceuticals business

** IDBI Capital says margins at co’s pharma and chemical segments improved. Given some products exiting the National List of Essential Medicines, there could be further improvement in pharma margins

** Says with open offer being triggered as co’s parent closed the sale of consumer business to P&G, the run up in the stock price can be used to exit Merck India

** IDBI Capital downgrades stock to ‘sell’ and advices to switch from Merck to Abbott India Ltd

** Merck has risen nearly 48 pct this year up to Friday, while Abbott India has gained about 12 pct

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