After starting today’s session on a volatile note Indian indices are currently trading flat. Other key Asian markets have also lost some ground and are in the red. Stocks from IT and banking space are trading strong while stocks from oil & gas and power space are being subject to profit booking.
The BSE-Sensex is trading up by around 3 points, while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 2 points. However, buying interest is being witnessed among mid and small cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading higher by 0.4% and 0.7% respectively. The rupee is trading at 46.75 to the US dollar.
FMCG stocks are trading mixed with Tata Tea and United Spirits leading the gains. Godrej Consumer is trading negative. Colgate-Palmolive (India) announced its 1QFY11 results. The company reported a 13.3% YoY growth in sales. Operating margins for the quarter grew by almost 4% to 29%. This was on the back of fall in raw material prices. However, higher advertisement spending, increase in staff costs and other expenditure prevented operating margin from increasing further. Net profits jumped by 18.7% YoY during the quarter. This increase was aided by higher operating income. But an increase in the effective tax rate capped net profit growth.
As per leading news daily, Pantaloon Retail (Pantaloon) is planning to speed up its expansion plans owing to the improvement in consumer sentiment. The company plans to add around 2.5-3.5 m sq ft of retail space per year. The expansion will be across both the value and lifestyle formats. It should be noted that the company added 1.7m sq ft and 1.5 m sq ft of space in FY09 and FY10, respectively. At the end of FY10, the company had total retail space of 13.5 m sq ft. Meanwhile, in the move to become a pure retail player the company has transferred its value formats to wholly owned subsidiary, Future Value retail. It has also decided to merge the sports, home and electronics retail business with itself. We believe the strategy to expand the retail space at this point of the real estate cycle will enable the company to better negotiate on rental deals.