Indian equity markets began the day's proceedings on a very shaky note and the early hours saw them barely stay afloat. Selling activity intensified thereafter and pushed the indices into the red. There was no respite in the final trading hour either and the indices closed well below the dotted line. While the BSE-Sensex closed lower by 114 points, the NSE-Nifty closed lower by 36 points. The BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap were not spared either as they closed marginally lower. Losses were largely seen in auto, banking and metal stocks.
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed mixed today while European indices have opened firm. The rupee was trading at Rs 53.20 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Engineering stocks closed mixed today. While Elgi Equipments, Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and ABB closed in the red, Thermax Ltd and Voltas closed firm. Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) announced results for the third quarter ended December 2012. Sales declined by 4.7% YoY in 3QFY13 as revenues from both the power and industry segment declined 4.6% YoY and 5.5% YoY respectively. Operating profits declined by 19.8% YoY during the quarter. Operating margins also fell from 19.1% in 3QFY12 to 16% in 3QFY13. In line with operating profits, net profits declined by 17.5% YoY during the quarter. Rise in interest expenses (up 251% YoY) and depreciation expenses (18.1% YoY) impacted the profitability. The order book at the end of the quarter stood at Rs 1,137 bn. The company declared an interim dividend of Rs 2.1 per share during the quarter.
Tube Investments also announced results for the third quarter ended December 2012. Sales for the quarter fell by 13% YoY on a standalone basis due to fall in revenues across business segments. The bicycles division witnessed a 23% YoY drop in sales on account of lower trade and institution volumes. The revenues from the engineering division fell by 7% YoY during the quarter as subdued conditions in the automobiles sector impacted the demand for tubes and cold rolled steel strips. Revenues from the metal formed products division fell by 2% YoY on account of drop in doorframe volumes and a delay in the tender process for railway wagons. Operating margins declined by 1.4% to 7.9% in 3QFY13 leading to the 26% YoY fall in operating profits. Net profits plunged by 72% YoY. Even on excluding the extraordinary expense during this quarter, the fall in net profits was steep at 58% YoY. The stock closed lower by 1.5% today.