Shares of pharmaceuticals and healthcare services were in demand on Friday , with the S&P BSE Healthcare index up over 2 per cent in an otherwise weak market, as investors shifted focus to pharma stocks amid the emergence of a new, highly mutated Covid-19 variant.
At 01:07 pm; the S&P BSE Healthcare index, the sole gainer among sectoral indices, was up 2.4 per cent at 25,936, as compared to 1.9 per cent decline in the S&P BSE Sensex. The index had hit a record high of 26,979 on September 16, 2021.
Cipla, Alkem Laboratories, Dr. Lal PathLabs, AstraZeneca Pharma India, Pfizer, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and Divi’s Laboratories were some of the prominent stocks from the BSE healthcare index to have rallied between 5 per cent and 8 per cent in intra-day trade.
Cipla, Cadila Healthcare, Dr Reddy's, Sun Pharma and Jubilant LifeSciences are among the domestic manufactures of Remdesivir (injection and API both). Remdesivir is considered as a key antiviral drug in the fight against COVID-19, especially in adult patients with severe complications.
The pharma index took a breather over the past three months after displaying relative out-performance during CY20-21.
Among the individual stocks, Cipla has surged 8.4 per cent to Rs 976 on the BSE. It was less than 3 per cent away from its 52-week high price of Rs 1,005 touched on September 29, 2021.
Cipla operates at domestic as well as global scale with over 1,500+ products in 65 therapeutic categories, spread over 50 dosage forms. Indian branded formulations business accounts for around 40 per cent of revenues and enjoys leadership in therapies like respiratory, anti-infective, cardiac, gynaecology and gastro-intestinal. Cipla derives 21 per cent of its export revenues from the US followed by 12 per cent from South Africa, 5 per cent from Europe and 16 per cent from RoW markets.
“Key observation is that the stock has shown faster retracement on the smaller degree chart as it retraced past six week’s consolidation in just a single week highlighting robust price structure that augurs well for the next leg of up move,” analysts at ICICI Securities said. The brokerage firm expects the stock to resolve higher and gradually head towards our target of Rs 1,060 in the coming month as it is the 138.2 per cent external retracement September-November decline (Rs 1005-883).