The Paytm stock rose 2% in the early trade on Monday after the shareholders gave a green signal to the founder and CEO, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, to steer the fintech giant for another five-year term from December 19, 2022, until December 18, 2027. Of the total votes cast during the annual general meeting (AGM) of Paytm parent One 97 Communications Ltd, 99.67% shareholders voted in favour of his re-appointment as managing director and chief executive, while 0.33% voted against the ordinary resolution.
Sharma, after the company's AGM on Friday, thanked shareholders, saying "it was such an energising AGM. #Gratitude 🙏 #PaytmKaro."
The special resolution for the approval of the payment of remuneration for Sharma received 94.48% of the total votes, while a significant number -- 5.52% -- voted against it. Sharma's take-home salary -- as per Paytm’s FY22 annual report -- stands at ₹4 crore, including a salary of ₹3.714 crore and perquisites worth ₹28.6 lakh.
The fintech stock opened a gap-up at ₹797.2 as compared to the previous close of ₹771.85 and touched the intraday high of ₹800.05 (3.65%). Conversely, the benchmark Sensex is down 0.75% today, while the fintech sector as a whole is also down at 1.14%.
The fintech stock has outperformed the sector by 3.4% and is trading higher than 20-day, 50-day and 100-day moving averages but lower than 5-day and 200-day moving averages.
A total of 91 lakh shares are exchanging hands on the counter currently, against the two-week average quantity of 2.24 lakh. Paytm's current market cap has also risen to ₹50,956.22 crore today. The stock has risen 5.61% in the past month.
Brokerages have, meanwhile, given mixed ratings on the stock. Macquarie Capital Securities retains an “underperform” rating on the stock, with a target price of ₹450, implying a potential downside of 50%. CLSA, too, maintains a “sell” rating on the stock, with a target price of ₹650. Axis Securities, however, maintains a “buy” rating on the Paytm stock.
Notably, Sharma faced the biggest test during the company's AGM since a poor show of his company's initial public offering (IPO) listing in November 2021. Three domestic voting advisory firms -- Institutional Investor Advisory Services (IiAS), Stakeholders Empowerment Services (SES) and InGovern Research Services -- had already opposed Sharma's reappointment and remuneration and decided on the position and even asked the shareholders to vote against the resolution.
InGovern said Sharma is not liable to retire as director of Paytm by rotation, which it cited as the main issue and advised the shareholders to vote against the resolution of reappointment.
SEC had said Sharma is holding both the powerful positions of chairman and managing director, and that the company should have separated the positions. It also raised objections against high remuneration of Sharma.
Mumbai-based proxy advisory firm IiAS had said it is against his reappointment as managing director and is unable to support the company's upcoming resolution. IiAS had said that Sharma made “several commitments in the past to make the company profitable, however, these have not played out”. The Paytm board must consider professionalising the management, said the Mumbai-based proxy advisor.
Paytm's consolidated loss for the April-June quarter of 2022-23 widened to ₹645 crore from ₹382 crore in the year-ago period. However, the digital payments firm posted an 89% growth in revenue in the first quarter at ₹1,690 crore from ₹891 crore during the same quarter last year.