IWhile the early trading hours saw the indices in the red, buying activity subsequently picked up and pushed markets into the positive territory. From thereon, sustained momentum led the indices to inch higher and ensured that they closed well above the dotted line in the final trading hour. While the BSE-Sensex closed higher by around 206 points (up 1%), the NSE-Nifty closed higher by around 65 points (up 1%). The BSE Midcap and the BSE Small cap also did well to notch gains of 1% each. Gains were largely seen in auto and banking stocks.
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed mixed today while European indices have also opened on a mixed note. The rupee was trading at Rs 45.38 to the dollar at the time of writing.
IVRCL closed 3% higher today on the back of a strong set of numbers announced by the company for the quarter ended December 2010. The company's topline registered a growth of 14.5% YoY during 3QFY11. This was led by an improvement in execution across key projects. The order book of the company stood at Rs 242 bn, (including L1 orders) with order inflows of Rs 32 bn, at the end of 3QFY11. Operating profits increased 26% YoY in 3QFY11 due to decline in overall expenditure as a percentage of sales and healthy topline growth. Improvement in execution resulted in excess absorption of overheads supplementing operating margins. Net profits declined 0.8% YoY in 3QFY11 due to increase in interest expenses and fall in other income. The interest expenses increased due to increase in CP rates and overall hawkish interest rate environment.
MNC pharma stocks closed firm today and the key gainers here were Aventis, Abbott India and GSK Pharma. Aventis announced its results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 2010. Net sales grew by 10% YoY during CY10 led by the growth in its core pharmaceutical business (up 18% YoY). Exports declined by 6.5% YoY during the year. However, the encouraging sign was that this segment reported a growth of 15% YoY during the fourth quarter. Having said that, the performance of this business on a quarterly basis during the year was rather volatile. Operating margins shrank by 2.7% to 18.8% during the year due to rise in all expenses (as percentage of sales). Bottomline grew by 47% YoY during the year on account of extraordinary income received on the sale of its stake in the Chiron Vaccines JV. On excluding the same, net profits declined by 1.5% YoY. The Board declared a total dividend of Rs 55 per share (including special dividend of Rs 28 per share) translating into a dividend yield of around 3%.