Finally, I am told, Ram Kapoor kissed his own wife. Moreover, he seduced her and made passionate love to her. That too on TV.
This is HOT by Indian TV standards.
In its 166th episode of Bade Achhe Lagte Hain (“I Really Like You”) which aired on March 12, Ram did all of that. The viewers were surprised, thrilled, or shocked, depending on who they were sitting with while watching the episode. TRPs will now surely soar because now “expectations for more” have been created. A man has kissed a woman and she kissed him back. On TV.
Behind every kissable man, however, there is a woman, and maybe she is not his wife. In this case, the woman behind Ram’s kisses is Ekta Kapoor, Balaji Telefilms’ Joint MD who is actively involved in the production of the content produced by her company. Balaji is a content provider to Sony TV which airs Bade Achhe Lagte Hain.
Balaji’s stockholders should hope that High TRPs will eventually translate into higher income for the company which will result in the stock being re-rated. They need this break because the stock has been a huge under-performer for several years, as the two charts below show:
The company could certainly do with some real earnings as well. That’s because its content business has been losing money for several quarters after Rupert Murdock fell out with Ms. Kapoor one fine morning but oh that’s another story which will have to wait for another day.
At its current stock price of Rs 45 per share, the market cap is Rs 290 cr. The company has zero debt. It also has Rs 220 cr of cash. So one is paying only Rs 70 cr for the business – the risky business of making movies and TV content. But if you pack your TV serials with a lot of kisses and passionate love making, perhaps TRPs will go up even more and operating profits will soar and the stock will spurt upwards. It’s a risky bet but then Ms. Kapoor likes taking risk and clearly she believes that her strategy will be good for the stock. After all, she is putting her money where her mouth is by buying it consistently from the market.
Minority stockholders might have preferred a buyback at a good premium to current stock price to see a happy ending to their sad stock story. But they will have to wait for the longer version of another story which basically starts with a kiss…
Note: I have no position in this stock as of this writing.