Indian equity markets languished in the red throughout the trading session today. While the indices began the day's proceedings on a firm note, selling activity quickly intensified pushing the indices into the red. There was no respite in the final trading hour either and the indices closed well below the dotted line. While the BSE-Sensex today closed lower by 150 points, the NSE-Nifty closed lower by 47 points. While the BSE Mid Cap index closed marginally higher, the BSE Small Cap index closed marginally in the red. Barring IT and metals stocks, losses were seen across sectors.
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed in the red today while European indices have also opened weak. The rupee was trading at Rs 56.66 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Auto stocks closed mixed today. While Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and Tata Motors found favour, Bajaj Auto and Maruti Suzuki closed into the red. M&M announced results for the fourth quarter and year ended March 2013. Sales (M&M and MVML combined) grew by 22% YoY for the year. As utility vehicles (UVs) were the star performers in the Indian auto space, M&M also benefitted from the same. The company's UV volumes grew at an impressive rate of 30.5% for the year. The farm equipment segment, however, witnessed a 4.5% drop in volumes during the year. Operating margins improved by 0.5% to 13.7% during the year leading to the 26% YoY growth in operating profits. Growth in net profits was lower at 21% YoY due to the 57% YoY rise in tax expenses. It must be noted that going forward, the management expects the additional 3% excise duty on SUVs announced in the Union Budget to impact margins. This is because SUVs comprise a significant chunk of the company's product portfolio. The company also expects near term headwinds for the auto industry as economic recovery is yet to take place.
Aurobindo Pharma also announced results for the fourth quarter and year ended March 2013. Consolidated total operating income grew by a healthy 26.5% YoY during the year led by robust growth across business segments. The formulations segment grew by 30% YoY and was primarily driven by the US, Europe and the Rest of the World (RoW) markets. Sales from the API segment were up 23% YoY and this was on account of growth in the all the 3 areas viz., penicillins, cephalosporins and the non-penicillin non-cephalosporin segment. Operating margins during the year improved by 2% to 15.2% leading to the 46% YoY growth in operating profits. Profit before tax (PBT), before the impact of forex, grew by 62% YoY in FY13. Going forward, the company intends to keep up the pace of new product launches and in this injectables will be a key focus area. The stock closed higher today.