Most Asian stock markets have opened on a firm note. Stock markets in South Korea (up 1.2%), Japan (up 1.2%) and Indonesia (up 0.8%) are leading the pack of gainers. However, the markets in Singapore (down 0.1%) are witnessing selling pressure. The Indian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note. Stocks in the metal, oil & gas and capital goods space are leading the gains. However, technology stocks are trading in the red.
The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 61 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 17 points (0.3%). Midcap and smallcap stocks are trading in the positive as well with the BSE Midcap and BSE Small cap indices up by 0.4% and 0.6% respectively. The rupee is trading at 45.27 to the US dollar.
Steel stocks have opened the day on a strong note with Tata Steel, SAIL (Steel Authority of India) and Sterlite Industries trading firm. Steel major Tata Steel has announced its results for the financial year ended March 2011. On a consolidated basis, the company reported sales growth of 15% YoY to Rs 1,171 bn. The net profit for the year stood at Rs 89 bn against the loss of Rs 20 bn in the previous year. The company declared a dividend of Rs 12 per share for the financial year 2010-11. The company's performance was bolstered by a turnaround in the performance of the European operations. Profitability from Indian operations reached the highest levels on back of higher price realizations and robust volumes.
The company also announced the sale of one of its manufacturing facilities, Teesside Cast Products. This facility was a slab manufacturing facility and the sale was completed in the financial year 2011. The sale valued the business at Rs 20.9 bn. This helped in reduction of the company's debt at the consolidated level. Currently the stock is trading in green.
Cement stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with ACC, UltraTech Cement and Chettinad Cement trading firm. However, Madras Cement and Mangalam Cement are trading in the red. Madras Cement has announced its annual result for the financial year ended March 2011. It registered a 7% YoY decline in net sales owing to weak demand off-take and poor cement realisations. The company's operating profits declined by 27.9% YoY on the back of higher employee and power costs (as a percentage of net sales). Operating margins dropped significantly from 30.6 in FY10 to 23.7% in Fy11. At the bottomline level, net profits declined by 40.3% YoY on account of poor realisations and higher operating expenses. Net profit margins dipped from 12.6% in FY10 to 8.1% in FY11. The company's board has approved a dividend of Rs 1.25 per share for FY11.