It was a complete non starter for the Indian stock markets today. The indices traded almost neck and neck with the dotted line for almost the entire session. Not willing to budge further from Friday's close, the BSE-Sensex closed higher by around 13 points, while the NSE-Nifty closed lower by around 2 points. Both the BSE Mid cap and the BSE Small cap closed marginally in the positive, seeing gains of 0.1% and 0.3% respectively. Gains were largely seen in FMCGand realty stocks. Despite announcing less than spectacular results (3QFY12 profits were down over 64%), Maruti Suzuki led the pack of gainers.
As regards global markets, most Asian indices were closed for the Chinese New Year celebrations, however Japan closed flat. Most European indices have opened on a mixed note. The rupee was trading at Rs 50.17 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Idea Cellular declared its third quarter results for financial year 2010-2011 (3QFY12) today. The company saw its net sales increase by 27% YoY during the quarter. The growth was driven by the growth in the subscriber base as well as in total minutes of usage on the network. The realized rate per minute stood at 43.3 paise per minute. This was higher than the 41.8 paise realized during the same period last year and 42.7 paise realized during the previous quarter (2QFY12). Operating margins improved by 2.7% YoY to 26.7% during the quarter. This was on account of savings in nearly all heads of expenses (as a percentage of sales). Net profits for the quarter declined by 17.3% YoY. This was on account of higher tax outflow as well as higher interest costs during the quarter.
The higher interest costs were on account of the loans for buying 3G spectrum. Idea's 3G network investment plans are on track. The telecom player's high-speed broadband services are now available in 2,300 towns in 20 service areas in India. The stock was trading higher by over 3.7% today.
Mahindra Finance also recently declared its results for the third quarter of the financial year 2011-12 (3QFY12). The company reported a 42% growth in interest income in 3QFY12, and 41% in 9mFY12.This was on the back of an advance growth of 48% in 9mFY12. Assets under management grow by 40% YoY. The company was able to maintain its asset quality with net NPA to total advances remaining at 1.1% in 9mFY12. Net interest margins increased to 6.7% in 9mFY12 from 5.7% in 9mFY11 despite higher interest costs as the company was able to pass on most of the increased costs to the customer. Profits grew by a healthy 23% YoY during 9mFY12 and 28% during the 3QFY12 signaling the fact that rural cash flows continue to remain bouyant. Disbursements saw a buoyant growth of 36% YoY in 9mFY12. Mahindra Finance's newer product lines like construction equipment financing and used vehicle financing saw increased thrust so far this year. The stock closed 0.2% higher for the day.