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Late buying fuels indices
Fri, 20 Jan Closing

Indian stock markets traded in the positive for the larger part of the day today. Although profit booking in the afternoon session pushed the indices into the red, this proved short lived as there was a resurgence seen in the later hours which led the indices to close into the positive. While the BSE-Sensex closed higher by around 95 points, the NSE-Nifty closed higher by around 30 points. Both the BSE Mid cap and the BSE Small cap closed marginally into the positive. Gains were largely seen in banking and consumer durables stocks.

As regards global markets, Asian indices closed into the positive today while most European indices have opened weak. The rupee was trading at Rs 50.41 to the dollar at the time of writing.

Auto stocks closed mixed today. While Bajaj Auto and Hero MotoCorp found favour, Maruti Suzuki and Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M) closed into the red. Bajaj Auto declared its results for the third quarter ended December 2011. The company reported a revenue growth of 21% YoY on the back of a 14% YoY increase in volumes during the quarter. Average realisations (on total operating income) increased by around 7% YoY. The company in total sold 1,075,441 units during 3QFY12 as compared to 946,850 units in the corresponding quarter last year. Total motorcycle volumes grew by 13% YoY, while three-wheeler sales rose by 19% YoY to 108,363 units. Bajaj Auto's operating profits grew at a stronger pace of 25% YoY on the back of a 0.7% YoY margin expansion during the quarter. The key reason for the same was lower costs of raw materials and purchases (as a percentage of sales). Despite the strong growth in operating profits, net profit growth came in lower at 19% YoY. This was largely due to extraordinary losses incurred to the tune of Rs 59 bn during the quarter, which was an MTM loss on the valuation of certain range forward contracts.

VST Industries also declared its results for the third quarter ended December 2011. Sales for VST Industries grew by 25.8% YoY during 3QFY12. Other operating income fell short of expenses by Rs 29.4 m compared to Rs 12.2 m earned in the year-ago quarter. Thus the overall income during the quarter was up by 22.7% YoY. Favorable taxation and increase in the cost of competing tobacco products such as pan masala and chewing tobacco aided the sales growth during the quarter. For the nine months ended December 2011 (9mFY12), sales were up by 15% YoY. Operating margin expanded by 280 basis points (YoY) to 32.6% during the quarter as a result of decline in raw material and staff costs (as a percentage of sales). The operating profitability for 9mFY12 surged to 32% from 23% earned in the year-ago quarter. The net profit grew by 45.6% YoY as a result of higher operating income coupled with a three-fold jump in other income. For 9mFY12, the company's earnings surged by 55.3% YoY. The stock closed lower today.

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