Shares of Hinduja Global Solutions (HGS) sank 20% on Friday in their worst intraday fall in 14 years, with analysts saying a special dividend announced by the company after the sale of its healthcare business missed investor expectations.
HGS, the business process management unit of century-old Indian conglomerate Hinduja Group, said on Thursday it would pay an interim dividend of Rs 150 per share ($2.02), or about $42 million, after receiving $1.09 billion in sale proceeds.
“The investor community expected the dividend to be much larger after such a big deal, so there is disappointment on that front,” said Anita Gandhi, director at Arihant Capital Markets.
The HGS board also announced a bonus share issue and approved raising the limit to extend loans, make investments and provide guarantees or security to 35 billion rupees.
HGS in August sold its healthcare services business, which brought in about 53% of the company’s total revenue in fiscal year 2021, to funds associated with Baring Private Equity Asia for $1.2 billion, as it looked to build its digital services.
Up to Thursday’s close, the stock had climbed nearly 17% since August, hitting a record high this week after HGS said it would consider a dividend and a bonus issue of shares.
On Friday, the stock was locked in its lower circuit at Rs 2,856.65, its weakest since December 6.
“This is a special interim dividend that we have paid out to honour the close of the healthcare sale that happened,” HGS Global Chief Executive Officer Partha DeSarkar told CNBC-TV18 on Friday morning.
“We are going to expand our footprint in the digital space… We have been on the lookout for good buys in the space. There are a few that we are in active discussions with,” DeSarkar said.
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