Wockhardt Denies Stake-Sale Speculation, Stock Pares Its Gains

Wockhardt Ltd. pared gains of as much as 18 percent today after the Indian generic drugmaker said it doesn’t plan to sell a stake.

The stock rose 14 percent to 749.35 rupees at the close in Mumbai, still the most since April 2. The initial gains were triggered by speculation of a stake sale, said Arun Kejriwal, director at Kejriwal Research & Investment in Mumbai.

“There’s no question of selling stake,” Dominic D’Souza, a spokesman for Wockhardt, said in a phone interview today. “We strongly deny the rumor.”

Global companies invested about 280 billion rupees ($4.66 billion) in Indian drugmakers in the three years through 2013 to gain greater control over factories that supply the lucrative U.S. market, data from the Ministry of Commerce show. The S&P BSE Healthcare Index has tripled in value in the past five years, outpacing the 62 percent gain in the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex.

Shares of Mumbai-based have jumped 66 percent this year, faster than the 23 percent climb in the Sensex. The stock’s 10-day volatility rose to 56.5, the highest since June 9, amid volume that was 9.6 times the daily three-month average, the data show.

“We are advising investors to avoid the stock for now as there’s too much volatility,” said Kejriwal.

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