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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lotus Eye Care Hospital Ltd:-Is it a buy or a sell?

Scripscan:Lotus Eye Care Hospital Ltd
Traded in:Nse-bse

Story:Incorporated in 1997 as a private company named Kalaivani Health Centre, the company changed its name to Lotus Eye Care Hospital in ''06 and became a public limited company in ''07. It has both outpatient and inpatient eye care services comprising primary, secondary and tertiary eye care. The major sources of income are hospital services and retail sales in pharmacy and opticals.In its network of four hospitals, Lotus Eye Care has nine operation theatres and three lasik laser equipment. As a majority of the eye operations are performed as day-care procedure, the company''s total bed strength is 120, excluding eye camp beds.The hospitals provide treatment for all eye diseases such as cataract, retinal diseases, diabetic eye diseases and glaucoma among others and conduct lasik and epilasik surgeries. They cater to patients in the western and northern districts in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.The company wants to strengthen in presence in South India by setting up new centres providing primary, secondary and tertiary eye care. Three primary eye care centres are likely to be set up by the company with two being in Bangalore and another in Chennai. The company has plans to set up new secondary care centres in tier-two and tier-three cities with one such centre proposed to be set up at Karur. Besides, the company plans to open new tertiary care centres in Peelamedu, Coimbatore and Salem.Its operating margin at 39% and net margin at 19.5% are much higher than that of the other established players like Apollo Hospitals and Dr Agarwal''s Eye Hospital.Assuming that the expanded new facilities equipped with high technology will boost its revenue, the company is valued at 10-12 times its forward earnings. For a small-size regional player like Lotus Eye Care, these are still high valuations when compared to other players in the healthcare segment. Conservative investors are advised to stay out of the counter.Risk apetite guys can bet on it at dips.

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