Stock manipulation: Antarctica
Moneylife Digital Team 11 October 2017

Antarctica Ltd claims, on its website, that it started off with providing pre-press services; diversified into printing on a job-work basis with multicolour offset printing machines and, now, is in the packaging and printing business. The company was earlier called Antarctica Graphics Limited and, according to www.watchoutinvestor.com, it was suspended from trading by the Bombay Stock Exchange on 30 November 2007 for not complying with the listing agreement. The company now claims to be into carton box manufacturing, book printing and finishing, manufacturing labels, contract packaging and manufacturing tea bags. Antarctica’s packaging/printing unit is located at Falta Export Processing Zone (Free Trade Zone) about 50km from Kolkata and claims to export to Sri Lanka, the Middle East, Russia, Kazakhstan and Nepal.

 

Stock manipulation: AntarcticaThe fact is that it has hardly any business. Sales for the June 2017 quarter were Rs44.78 lakh while sales for the March 2017 quarter were Rs40.96 lakh. It reported a loss of Rs17.2 lakh in the March 2017 quarter and a meagre profit of Rs4.3 lakh in the June 2017 quarter. It neither pays tax nor declares dividend. Despite such poor performance, the stock rose 850% from Re0.1 on 24 March 2015 to Re0.95 on 29 September 2017, after rising to as high as Rs1.85 in February 2016, at which point it was up by 94.75%. The promoter shareholding in the company is only 31.63%. This looks like a clear case of manipulation, but do you expect market regulators to bother? 

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