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The Top 3 Wealth Destroyers of 2024: Lessons for Investors

21 June 20246 mins read by Angel One
Zee, Syrma, and Paytm eroded investor wealth in 2024 due to accounting issues, cash flow problems, and leadership changes. Lessons: governance and due diligence.
The Top 3 Wealth Destroyers of 2024: Lessons for Investors
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In 2024, several companies have significantly eroded investor wealth, causing substantial financial pain and disappointment. Here, we highlight the top three wealth destroyers: Zee Entertainment, Syrma SGS Technology Ltd, and One 97 Communications Ltd (Paytm).

We delve into the reasons behind their declining stock prices and the critical lessons investors can learn from these developments.

Name Industry Current Price Market Cap (Rs Crore) Return over 6 months (%)
Zee Entertainment TV Broadcasting & Software Production 163.5 15,704.56 -40.54
Syrma SGS Tech. Electronics – Components 473.95 8,416.67 -30.38
One 97 Fintech 424.25 26,969.72 -29.38

Source: Screener, as of June 14, 2024

1. Zee Entertainment

Industry: TV Broadcasting & Software Production
Current Price: ₹163.5
Market Cap: ₹15,704.56 Crore
Return over 6 months: -40.54%

Why is the Stock Falling?

Zee Entertainment has faced severe setbacks due to accounting issues and corporate governance concerns:

  • Accounting Issues: On February 21, 2024, Zee Entertainment shares plummeted over 14% after reports suggested that the market regulator had found $241 million (₹2,000 crore) worth of funds being diverted from the company.
  • Corporate Governance: The market regulator summoned several former directors for their involvement in the fund diversion. This incident compounded previous corporate governance issues from August 2023, where the company’s promoters were barred from holding directorships in listed companies due to alleged misappropriation of funds.
  • Failed Merger with Sony: A significant blow came when Sony called off its $10 billion merger with Zee. The merger was expected to create a media powerhouse with over 90 channels. Sony cited multiple breaches of the merger agreement by Zee, causing a major shift in market sentiment.

Lessons for Investors

  • Corporate Governance Matters: Investors should prioritize companies with strong corporate governance practices.
  • Due Diligence on Mergers: Understand the financial health and compliance of companies involved in mergers or acquisitions.

2. Syrma SGS Technology Ltd

Industry: Electronics – Components
Current Price: ₹473.95
Market Cap: ₹8,416.67 Crore
Return over 6 months: -30.38%

Why is the Stock Falling?

Syrma SGS Technology has faced financial challenges primarily due to declining earnings and cash flow issues:

  • Declining EBIT: The company’s EBIT dropped by 6.1% over the past year, raising concerns about its ability to manage its debt.
  • Negative Free Cash Flow: Over the last three years, Syrma SGS Technology has reported substantial negative free cash flow, amounting to ₹69.23 crore in 2022, ₹188 crore in 2023, and ₹438 crore in 2024. This trend indicates liquidity issues and potential difficulties in sustaining operations.

Lessons for Investors

  • Monitor Earnings and Cash Flow: It’s crucial to assess a company’s earnings trends and cash flow, not just its profits.
  • Debt Management: Pay attention to how a company manages its debt and whether it can generate enough cash to cover its obligations.

3. One 97 Communications Ltd (Paytm)

Industry: Fintech
Current Price: ₹424.25
Market Cap: ₹26,969.72 Crore
Return over 6 months: -29.38%

Why is the Stock Falling?

Paytm has experienced a significant decline due to leadership changes and a drop in market share:

  • Leadership Changes: The company’s President and COO, Bhavesh Gupta, resigned, marking the second high-profile resignation within a month, following the departure of the CEO and MD of Paytm Payments Bank.
  • Declining UPI Transactions: Paytm’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions have declined for three consecutive months. In April, the company held an 8.4% market share in the UPI ecosystem, down from 10.8% in February and 9.13% in March.

Lessons for Investors

  • Leadership Stability: Frequent changes in leadership can indicate underlying issues and impact a company’s performance.
  • Market Share Trends: Keep an eye on market share trends, especially in competitive industries, as they can significantly affect a company’s growth prospects.

Conclusion

The sharp declines in the stock prices of Zee Entertainment, Syrma SGS Technology, and One 97 Communications serve as a stark reminder of the importance of due diligence, corporate governance, and financial health in investment decisions. By learning from these cases, investors can better navigate the stock market and make more informed choices to safeguard their wealth.

Disclaimer: This blog has been written exclusively for educational purposes. The securities mentioned are only examples and not recommendations. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet and is subject to changes. Please consult an expert before making related decisions.

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