What seemed like yet another good day for Indian markets early today, ended with a whimper! Selling pressure in stocks from the engineering and energy sectors led the markets to lose most of their early morning gains. On the broader BSE, two stocks gained today for every one that closed in the red.
The BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty closed with gains of 12 points (0.1%) and 13 points (0.2%) respectively. Mid and small cap stocks followed suit. The BSE Midcap and BSE Smallcap indices closed up by 0.9% and 1.4% respectively. The rupee was trading at 44.43 to a US dollar at the time of writing this.
Software stocks closed mixed today. Gains were seen in HCL Tech and Wipro. However, TCS and Infosys saw some selling pressure. Earlier, TCS had announced that it has won a large contract from the British engine-maker Rolls Royce. As part of the deal, TCS will provide software solutions in the engineering domain to Rolls Royce global manufacturing operations. While no further details have been provided by the company, this deal signifies the company's rising presence in the engineering solutions space.
Real estate stocks also closed mixed today. While gains were seen in Unitech and Ansal Housing, selling pressure was seen in BL Kashyap and Mahindra Lifespace. Gains in Unitech followed the company's announcement of demerging its non-core infrastructure business. This includes the company's operations in telecom, transmission towers, hotels, amusement parks, and special economic zones. As per the company's management, and as one would have expected them to say, the objective behind this demerger is to unlock value of non-core businesses. The company plans to eventually list the new demerged entity - Unitech Infra - on the stock exchanges. The company's board has approved the swap ratio of 1:1. This means that existing shareholders of Unitech would get equivalent number of shares of face value of Rs 2 each of Unitech Infra Ltd.
Leading paper manufacture BILT announced its results for the third quarter ended March 2010 yesterday. The company's sales grew by 51% YoY during the quarter. This was largely due to a boost in volumes as its capacity expansions at Bhigwan and Ballarpur came on stream during 9mFY10. As a result, its overall paper business witnessed sales growing by 39% YoY. After a dismal FY09, performance of Unit Kamalapuram (manufactures rayon grade pulp) bounced back as sales from this division grew seven-fold. Operating margins declined marginally by 0.5% due to higher raw material costs (as percentage of sales). All this boosted net profits which grew by a robust 148% YoY. Profits were also helped by a significant reduction in tax expenses. For 9mFY10, overall performance was more subdued with revenues growing by 29% YoY and net profits remaining flat. Operating margins during the nine month period shrank by 1.7%.