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Indian equity markets began the day's proceedings on a flat note and remained range bound throughout the trading session today. While the BSE Sensex today closed lower by 42 points, the NSE-Nifty closed lower by 13 points. Midcaps and Small caps closed just above the dotted line. The S&P BSE Mid Cap index and the S&P BSE Small Cap index closed the day higher by 0.1% each. Gains were largely seen in auto and banking stocks, while stocks from IT and FMCG space witnessed selling activity.
Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Nikkei 225 gained 1.20% and the Shanghai Composite rose 0.22%. The Hang Seng lost 0.72%. European markets are trading lower today with shares in London off the most. The FTSE 100 is down 0.84%, while Germany's DAX is off 0.83% and France's CAC 40 is lower by 0.46%.
The rupee was trading at 66.49 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 43.12 at the time of writing.
Pharma stocks finished on a mixed note with Glenmark Pharma and Cadila Healthcare leading the gains. Shares of Aurobindo Pharmaceuticals surged 1.5% today after it was reported that the company has received final approval from US Food and Drugs Administration (USFDA) (Subscription Required) to manufacture and market Esomeprazole Magnesium Delayed-release Capsules USP, 20 mg and 40 mg. The launch of this product is based on the settlement terms/litigation outcome with AstraZeneca. The approved ANDA is bioequivalent to the reference listed drug product Nexium Delayed-release Capsules, 20 mg and 40 mg, of AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals.
Esomeprazole Magnesium Delayed-release Capsules is used in the treatment of gastroesophageal reflex disease. The approved product has an estimated market size of US$4.2 billion for 12 months ending February 2016 according to IMS.
In another development, according to an article in The Economic Times, Health Ministry of India is likely to tie up with Sun Pharmaceuticals for a state-specific program against the mosquito-borne disease Malaria. The public-private partnership agreement is likely to be signed next week and will add funds to the National Framework for Malaria Elimination (NFME). Reportedly, the partnership will also see joint implementation of some of the framework's recommended strategies (Subscription Required) over the next five years.
Moving on to news from the IT sector. According to a leading financial daily, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has entered into long term strategic partnership with Vistara, India's fastest growing full service carrier. As per the agreement, TCS will provide a broad range of IT services in the area of IT Management, application maintenance and application development to help Vistara achieve its goal in customer experience, operational excellence as well as cost leadership.
In a short span of 15 months, Vistara has rapidly expanded its footprint both in terms of network and service proposition. Vistara currently offers almost 400 weekly flights to 16 destinations in India.
Further, TCS has received the 2016 SAP Pinnacle Award for Run SAP Partner of the Year for the fourth year in a row, being recognized for its outstanding contributions as an SAP partner. TCS was recently recognized by Gartner as a 'leader' in the magic quadrant for worldwide SAP application management service providers for the third year in a row. TCS is one of the largest and fastest-growing partners of SAP with more than 15,000 dedicated SAP consultants. TCS has more than 550 SAP projects around the world that serve as world-class proof points of the results generated for clients. The script of TCS finished the day on a negative note (down 0.2) on the BSE.
The company announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year FY16. The company has reported a 4% QoQ increase in consolidated sales, while consolidated net profit was up 5.4% QoQ for 4QFY16. Here is our analysis of the results (Subscription Required).
By the way, we are in a celebratory mood today as we commemorate Equitymaster's 20th Anniversary.
Our founder, Ajit Dayal, recently wrote about what this achievement and your continued support means to all of us at Equitymaster. Please do read the note Ajit penned for our 20th birthday.
Also, Ankit Shah, in a recent edition of The 5 Minute WrapUp, interviewed Ajit to get some colour on Equitymaster's 20-year journey.
Ajit gave a fascinating glimpse into the long-term vision behind the launch of Equitymaster...and the early stumbling blocks, including the event that nearly killed the company!
Here's a snippet:
This is just a taster. If you have not read this interview already, we urge you to do so right away...
Our Special 20th Anniversary Gift!
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Do click here to know what this gift is all about.
For information on how to pick stocks that have the potential to deliver big returns, download our special report now!