Shares of Ion Exchange (India) continued their northward journey for the fifth straight session on Tuesday, clocking a new all-time high of ₹2,982.60 on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in intraday trade. In the past five trading days, the stock of the water treatment solutions company has rallied 13% as compared to a 0.35% fall in the BSE benchmark Sensex during this period. In the last four months, the stock price of Ion Exchange has nearly doubled from its 52-week low of ₹1,500.70 on July 29, 2022, while it has surged 59% in the past one year, as compared to 10% rise in the S&P BSE Sensex. The stock has risen 53% in the six month period, whereas it gained nearly 36% in a month.

On Tuesday, Ion Exchange shares opened 1% higher at ₹2,933.95, against the previous closing price of ₹2,904.50 on the BSE. Extending opening gains, the smallcap stock climbed as much as 2.7% to hit a record high of ₹2,982.60 during the session so far. The market capitalisation stood at ₹4,355 crore. In contrast, the 30-share Sensex witnessed bearish trade and declined 0.7% to hit an intraday low of 62,390 levels, tracking weak cues from global peers as well as selling across metal and IT space.

Ion Exchange shares got a boost after the company bagged a ₹343.36 crore contract from Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) for setting up a zero liquid discharge plant at the Panipat refinery. “The company has been awarded a contract by Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), for designing, engineering, manufacturing, supply, erection, testing, pre-commissioning, commissioning, performance guarantee test run and operation & maintenance for five years of zero liquid discharge plant at Panipat Refinery at a contract value of ₹343.36 crores including GST,” it said in an exchange filing on December 2.

As per the release, the project has to be commissioned within 16 months from the date of letter of acceptance.

Ion Exchange, a flagship company of the Ion Exchange group, is a water treatment solutions company, with a legacy spanning over five decades. It operates in three key segments - engineering, chemical, and consumer products and has six factories in five states. The engineering segment plans and executes orders for installation of large and medium-sized water and effluent treatment plants. The chemicals division manufactures ion-exchange resins and industrial chemicals and sells them in India, the US, the Middle East, Europe, and South-East Asia. The consumer products segment offers a range of water-care products for homes, institutions and community under the Zero-B brand, as per CRISIL report.

In the July-September quarter of the current fiscal (Q2 FY23), Ion Exchange reported a 42.20% growth in net profit to ₹38.99 crore as against ₹27.42 crore during the previous period last year. Sales rose 18.36% to ₹447.61 crore, from ₹378.19 crore during the year-ago period. The company’s networth stood at ₹655 crore as on March 31, 2022, vis-a-vis ₹495 crore a year before. Debt protection metrics remain strong, with net cash accrual to total debt and interest coverage ratios at 4.4 times and 21 times, respectively, in fiscal 2022. 

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