While the indices languished in the red for a larger part of the trading session today, renewed buying at lower levels towards the fag end of the day led the indices to close well above the dotted line. While the BSE Sensex closed higher by around 136 points (up 1%), the NSE Nifty gained around 43 points (up 0.8%). Midcap and smallcap stocks also did well as the BSE Midcap and BSE Smallcap notched gains of 0.4% and 0.3% respectively. Barring IT stocks, stocks across sectors closed in the green.
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed mixed today while European indices have opened in the green. The rupee was trading at Rs 47.18 to the dollar at the time of writing.
NIIT announced its 1QFY11 results yesterday. Sales declined by 5% QoQ during the quarter mainly due to a 21% QoQ decline in sales from the 'individual learning solutions' business. However, the pending order book in this segment increased by 21% QoQ. Operating margins declined by 6% QoQ mainly on account of increase in headcount and rental costs during the quarter. This was compounded by adverse currency movements. Net profits declined by 47%% QoQ due to lower sales and weaker margins. NIIT had a tax gain during the quarter that helped in offsetting the steep decline in net income. The company added 235 employees during the quarter taking the total headcount to 3,720. The stock closed 3% lower today.
As per a leading business daily, Ranbaxy and Daiichi Sankyo have announced plans of marketing the anti-bacterial drug 'Tavanic' (Levofloxacin') by leveraging on the former's presence in Romania and South Africa. It must be noted that this drug was originally discovered by Daiichi. The latter then entered into a licensing agreement with Sanofi-Aventis in 1993 for the manufacture and sales of 'Tavanic' in Europe, Africa, Middle East, South America and part of Asia.
Both the partners have now agreed to transfer the marketing rights of 'Tavanic' in Romania and South Africa from Sanofi-Aventis to Ranbaxy. Thus, this transfer is expected to become effective in August 2010 for Romania and in January 2012 for South Africa. Sanofi-Aventis will, however, continue to manufacture the finished products in these regions. This move is part of Daiichi and Ranbaxy's strategy to create synergies from the hybrid business model that has been formed as a result of the Japanese company's majority stake in Ranbaxy. The stock closed firm today.
Cement stocks closed mixed today. While Ambuja Cement and Shree Cement found favour, ACC closed in the red. ACC also announced its 2QCY10 results a while ago. On a standalone basis, the topline declined by 2.9% YoY led by lower realisations and marginal decline in volumes. Lower sales and higher cost of operation led to the 25% YoY decline in operating profits. Poor show at the topline and operating margin front impacted the bottomline which declined by 26% YoY. During the quarter, ACC acquired 45% stake in Asian Concretes and Cements Pvt. Ltd for a consideration of Rs 3.68 bn. Further, the board of the company has recommended an interim dividend of Rs 10 per share.