The shares of ITC gained 5.24% on Friday after the company reported better-than-expected first quarter earnings. ITC once again overtook Hindustan Unilever in terms of market capitalisation after two months. The stock gained for the last seven consecutive sessions and added nearly Rs 41,729 crore in market capitalisation during this period. At present, ITC is the fourth-largest stock in terms of market capitalisation after TCS, RIL and HDFC Bank. The stock ended the session at Rs 302.20 on the BSE and was the best performing Sensex stock on Friday. ITC on Thursday posted a net profit of Rs 2,818.7 crore for the quarter ended June 2018 against a Bloomberg consensus estimate of Rs 2,799.8 crore. Edelweiss in a note to investors said after four quarters, cigarette volumes were encouraging 1.5% year-on-year volume growth versus our and Street\u2019s expectations of 1-2% year-on-year dip. With no increase in tax rate for more than a year, demand is turning positive. The FMCG business also did well with underlying sales jumping 14.3% year-on-year,\u201d the note said. \u201cEbit growth was at eight quarters high (except for a quarter which had benefit of soft base) riding mix enrichment and cost management initiatives,\u201d the note added. CLSA raised its price target to Rs 390 from Rs 340 on growth in cigarette volumes. ITC\u2019s stock has gained 14.86% in 2018, against Sensex\u2019s gain of 9.6%. A total of 7.9 crore shares of ITC were traded on BSE and NSE, seven times more than its daily traded average for three months. Analysts are bullish on the stock. Of the 42 analysts who track the stock, 36 gave it a \u2018buy\u2019, five a \u2018hold\u2019 and one gave a \u2018sell\u2019.