Sri Lanka stocks edge down despite good company earnings

Nov 04, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed lower Thursday, continuing a downtrend despite a crop of improved company quarterly earnings in what appears to be a cooling off after the market hit record highs, brokers said. The All Share Price Index closed at 6,658.45, down 0.25 percent (16.46 points) while the more liquid Milanka index fell 0.47 percent (33.74 points) to close at 7,199.62, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Turnover was a billion rupees.

Charith Kamaladasa of Lanka Securities stock brokers said trading was choppy and lower than usual.

“Even the shares of companies that have reported significant growth in earnings did not move as much as expected,” he said.

“We are in a consolidation phase. It should pick up later on. Company profits have really impoved and we can expect the fundamentally sound stocks to do well.”

The correction came after the market hit record highs wih the Colombo stock exchange price: earnings ratios seen as too high.

Kamaladasa said funds being locked up in two recent share offers that were oversubscribed may also have contributed to the downturn.

Commercial Bank was one of the most heavily traded stocks, closing at 274.90 rupees, down 1.90 or 0.69 percent.