ITC Takes Crown from Hindustan Unilever Limited as the Most Valuable Consumer Goods Company
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ITC Takes Crown from Hindustan Unilever Limited as the Most Valuable Consumer Goods Company

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ITC Ltd., Asia's largest cigarette maker, is set to reclaim its position as India's most valuable fast-moving consumer goods stock after displacing Hindustan Unilever Ltd.

ITC, which primarily sells cigarettes but also has interests in hotels, paper, and consumer staples, saw its intraday valuation rise above 6.1 trillion rupees ($74 billion) for the first time ever Monday, surpassing Hindustan Unilever's 6.09 trillion rupees. The cigarette manufacturer has gained more than 70% in the last year, outperforming all other Nifty 50 stocks.

Investors prefer ITC over Hindustan Unilever because of the earnings outlook. While HUL is still suffering from anaemic post-pandemic recovery in rural Indian sales, ITC's diverse business interests helped boost earnings per share by about 30% in the fiscal year ended March.

"In the short term, ITC will undoubtedly outperform HUL," said Sachin Bobade, vice president - consumer sector at Dolat Capital Market Ltd. "There is still juice in ITC, primarily because its cigarette business faces no significant headwinds."

ITC last surpassed HUL in terms of market capitalization four years ago.