Oblivious to broader market gyrations, the stock of construction company BL Kashyap & Sons has held fast to its downward path over the past three years. Initially facing the heat of a market meltdown in 2008, the stock further suffered on account of its exposure to troubled real estate contracts. From a near-doubling in FY08, revenues declined six and 30 per cent in the following two years. Profits plunged similarly, by 32 and 47 per cent.

Efforts to diversify out of real estate saw the company take on infrastructure projects, using joint ventures to improve qualification. Fortunes revived in FY-11, with revenues and profits up 51 and 22 per cent respectively. A bonus and stock split nudged interest in the stock.

However, the company suffered delays in monetisation of its real estate venture Soul Space, and high raw material and labour costs which resulted in profit declines for the March and June quarters.

The last straw was an alleged evasion of provident fund payments; the stock plummeted 20 per cent in a single day in wake of the news. The estimated penalty to be paid was pegged at Rs 593 crore, well above its market capitalisation. BL Kashyap did file an appeal, resulting in a stay on the order. Still, the stock is rather lifeless, languishing 46 per cent down from the prices at the time of the allegations.

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