03 March, 2021

A Tooth For Every Tooth

As Lever's Pepsodent invades Colgate turf, the heat is on India's top oral care brand

A Tooth For Every Tooth

HERE'S an apparent contradiction that would be a classical case study for management students: How can a top brand be considered a black sheep by the stock markets? The sixth annual survey of India's top brands during 1996-97 conducted by A&M-ORG saw the fast-moving consumer goods giant, Colgate-Palmolive India, once again at the top, making up for its last year's defeat at the hands of Vicks. In five out of the last six years of the survey, Colgate has emerged at the head. Yet, the stockmarkets, considered the savviest barometer of a company's performance, don't seem to have a ring of confidence vis-a-vis Colgate's sparkle.

Once an investor favourite for consistently high dividends, the Rs 10 Colgate scrip is now languishing at Rs 177-Rs 180, a big fall from the last 52-week high of Rs 310. Recommending a "sell", T. Ghose, FMCG analyst at Natwest Securities, says: "Colgate's double-digit volume growth in the first half of fiscal 1998 was a flash in the pan. The result of high-trial purchases of its new toothpaste brand...

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