Indian equity markets had a rather volatile trading session today. While the indices began the day's proceedings on a positive note, selling activity intensified across index heavyweights in the subsequent hours and pushed the indices into the red. Buying resumed at lower levels in the afternoon session and led the indices to close the session above the dotted line. While the BSE-Sensex today closed higher by 50 points, the NSE-Nifty closed higher by 14 points. Both the BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap closed flat. Gains were largely seen in FMCG, metals and auto stocks.
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed mixed today while European indices have opened in the green. The rupee was trading at Rs 62.48 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Pharma stocks closed mixed today. While Sun Pharma and Cadila Healthcare found favour, Ranbaxy and Cipla closed into the red. Ranbaxy announced results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 2013. Consolidated global sales for the quarter were up 7% YoY. While branded formulations and the over-the-counter (OTC) segment accounted for 52% of total sales, the rest was made up of generics and API. The US, where the company is facing innumerable problems with the USFDA, accounted for 32% of total sales during the quarter. As per the management, the Toansa facility was issued a Form 483 containing certain observations in January 2014. This was subsequently included under certain provisions of the Consent Decree (CD) by USFDA. Because of this, Ranbaxy had suspended shipments of API to the USA market from this facility. The impact of this development was pegged at Rs 2.6 bn on account of stock write-offs and other related costs. As a result, the company reported a net loss before taxes to the tune of Rs 0.6 bn.
Bajaj Corp announced results for the third quarter and nine months ended December 2013. Net sales of the company grew by 6.7% YoY, while total expenditure rose at a higher rate of 10% leading to contraction in operating margins. Net profits plunged by 31% YoY. The same was largely due to the extraordinary expense of Rs 120 m related to brand amortization. Excluding the same, growth in net profits largely remained flat. The Board declared an interim dividend of Rs 6.5 per share, implying a dividend yield of 3%. The stock closed lower by 4% today.