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FMCG, banks boost markets
Mon, 29 Apr Closing

Indices in the Indian equity market broke away from its lacklustre trend during the closing stages of the day and closed the day substantially higher. Thus, while Sensex edged higher by around 101 points, gains on the NSE-Nifty came in at around 33 points. BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices also ended on a positive note, gaining 0.7% and 0.3% respectively. Nearly three stocks gained for every two that closed the day in the red.

While Asian equity markets closed mostly in the positive today, Europe too is witnessing positive trend currently. The rupee was trading at Rs 54.4 to the dollar at the time of writing.

After edging higher by 1.4% the previous week, the markets have again closed higher on the first trading day of the week. Favorable macro and robust earnings results by some index heavyweights seems to be the reason behind the current positive sentiment in the markets. Besides, there's also a talk about a possible rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and this is also playing on the mind of the market participants we believe. However, investors get carried away at their own peril. They would do well to look into the fundamentals of the stock and its valuations before making an entry into the same.

Exide Industries, India's largest automotive battery manufacturer, announced its fourth quarter and full year FY13 results today. Net revenues and net profits were up 6% and 3% YoY respectively for the quarter ended March 2013. As far as the full year is concerned, sales and profits grew by a higher rate of 19% and 13% YoY respectively. The management of the company believes that the fourth quarter performance has seen a marked improvement with the company regaining market share in the automotive replacement market. In the industrial segment, while UPS batteries showed good traction in terms of sales, slowdown in other areas like telecom, railways and power projects remain a matter of concern. The stock closed lower by 2.5% on the bourses today.

Hindustan Unilever (HUL) posted an impressive financial performance for the quarter ended March 2013. The company registered a 12% YoY rise in revenues led by 13% growth in the domestic consumer business with 6% underlying volume growth. Barring packaged foods, all the product segments reported double-digit growth. Beverages clocked the highest growth of 18% driven by strong performance of the tea business. Soap & detergents and personal care segments recorded growth of upto 13% each. Backed by easing raw material costs and controlled other expenditure, HUL was able to post a 0.5% rise in operating margin to 15% during the quarter. Ad-spends as a proportion of sales rose by 1% to 12.7%. Net profit for the quarter was up by 14.7% aided by 51% jump in other income. For the full year 2013, revenues increased by 17% and earnings grew by a steep 41%. In response to the good show, the stock closed higher by 7% on the bourses today.

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