After shedding all their morning gains, the Indian equity markets hovered around the neutral zone during the post noon trading session. While stocks from the consumer durables, healthcare and power spaces were amongst the top performers, those from the oil & gas and metal sectors were amongst the top losers.
The Sensex today is trading higher by about 5 points, while the NSE-Nifty is trading flat. Stocks from the midcap and smallcap spaces are also trading flat as the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices are trading a few points around yesterday's closing levels. The rupee is trading at 52.81 to the US dollar.
Stocks of healthcare companies are trading firm led by Lupin, Apollo Hospitals and Ranbaxy. The stock of Lupin is trading firm seemingly on the back of news of the company's subsidiary receiving approval for marketing and launching its Irbesatan tablets from the United States Food and Drugs Administration (FDA). These Irbesartan tablets - available in sizes of 75 mg, 150 mg and 300 mg - are generic versions of Sanofi Aventis's Avapro tablets. As per Lupin, these tablets are used in the treatment for hypertension and nephropathy in Type-2 diabetic patients. It is believed that Avapro tablets had annual sales of US$ 400.7 m (approximately (Rs 20.8 bn). However, with Lupin being one amongst the many companies that have earlier received approval for this drug, it must be kept in mind that the market size would have shrunk by now.
FMCG stocks are currently trading weak led by REI Agro, Dabur and Britannia. As per a leading financial daily, Dabur India has edged out multinationals Pepsi and Coke in the packaged juice category. According to Nielsen's figures for the six month period April-September 2012, Dabur with its Real and Activ juice brands emerged as a market leader with a 52% share followed by Pepsi's Tropicana having a 38% market share. The company has attributed the success of its juice brand that was launched way back in 1997 to a better understanding of the Indian palette and ability to customize the product to suit a larger part of the market. The company has as many as 20 flavours of juice. While the power brand Real is built on purity (no artificial flavours and preservatives), the Activ sub-brand is built on the health plank with no added sugar, rich in fibre and available in vegetable and fruit combinations. The company has recently extended the Real juice brand to fizzy drinks through its Real Burrst brand. Modern trade has provided a big fillip to Dabur's packaged juice business. The company gets 60% of its Activ Fibre juice sales from the organized retail stores.