Fears over the sovereign debt problems in Greece resurfaced once again today and pushed markets all over the world into the red. Taking cues from the global markets, Indian indices too began on a weak note. Thereafter, selling activity intensified especially in the afternoon session and pushed the indices deep into the red. While the BSE Sensex closed lower by around 285 points (down 2%), the NSE Nifty lost around 93 points (down 2%). Midcap and small cap stocks were not spared either as the BSE Midcap and the BSE Smallcap indices fell by 2% each. Losses were largely seen in oil & gas, metals and IT stocks.
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed in the red today, while the European indices have also opened on a weak note. The rupee was trading at Rs 44.66 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Logistics major, Concor announced its FY10 results. Sales grew by 13% YoY during 4QFY10, while they grew 8% YoY during FY10. Sales from domestic and Export-Import (EXIM) businesses grew by 17% YoY and 6% YoY respectively during the year. As far as the EXIM business is concerned, volumes (number of containers handled) for this segment grew by 1% YoY while average realisations (per container) improved by 5% YoY. As for the company’s domestic business, sales grew by 17% YoY, chiefly led by a 19% YoY growth in volumes. Realisations for this segment declined by 2% YoY. Operating margins declined to 26.4% in FY10, from 27.2% in FY09. Higher rail freight costs impacted margins. Lower other income and higher depreciation led to the net profits declining by 2% YoY during the full year. Profits declined 8% YoY during the fourth quarter. The stock closed lower by 6% today.
MNC pharma stocks closed mixed today. While Pfizer and Novartis closed in the red, GSK Pharma and Aventis found favour. GSK Pharma announced its 1QCY10 results yesterday (December ending company). Revenues grew by 19% YoY during 1QCY10 which could be attributed to the double-digit growth of priority products including vaccines (accounting for one third of revenues). EBDITA margins improved by 1.1% during the quarter and could be attributed to favourable changes in the product mix. This was evident from the fact that raw material costs (as a percentage of sales) fell from 40% in 1QCY09 to 37.2% in 1QCY10. Bottomline grew by 29% YoY (excluding extraordinary items) due to strong growth in operating profits and higher other income.
Power stocks closed mixed today. While Tata Power and Power Grid closed weak, NTPC closed firm. As per a leading business daily, NTPC has formed a joint venture (JV) with state owned Coal India Ltd in a bid to focus on acquisition of coal blocks in India and abroad. This JV will be known as 'CIL NTPC Urja Pvt Ltd'. Both the companies will contribute equally in the share capital of the company. It must be noted that NTPC is diversifying into captive coal mining, so as to secure future supplies of the black fuel. The company plans to produce around 50 million tonnes (MT) of coal by the year 2017 to meet close to 25% of its total coal requirement from captive mines.