Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with China (up 1.1%), Japan (up 0.8%) and Hong Kong (up 0.6%) leading the pack of gainers. However, markets in Taiwan (down 0.2%), South Korea (down 0.1%) and Malaysia (down 0.1%) are trading weak. The Indian share market indices have opened the day on a positive note. Stocks in the realty and capital goods space are leading the gains. However, information technology stocks are trading weak.
The Sensex today is up by around 39 points (0.2%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 10 points (0.2%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Mid Cap indices up by around 0.8% and 0.6% respectively. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 61.23 to the US dollar.
Cement stocks have opened the day on a weak note with JK Lakshmi Cement, UltraTech Cement and Ambuja Cements leading the losses. Leading cement player UltraTech Cement has announced its financial results for the second quarter of the financial year 2013-14 (2QFY14). During the quarter, net sales stood at Rs 45,021 m, lower by 4.2% on a year-on-year (YoY) basis. Operating profits stood at Rs 6,597 m, reporting a decline of 34.4% YoY. The drop in operating margins from 21.4% in 2QFY13 to 14.7% in 2QFY14 was mainly on account of higher raw materials and logistics expenses. While depreciation expenses increased by 10.7% YoY, interest expenses shot up by 47.9% YoY. At the bottomline level, net profits plunged by 52% YoY. Net profit margins declined from 11.7% in 2QFY13 to 5.9% in 2QFY14.
Engineering stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Everest Kanto Cylinder, Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Punj Lloyd leading the gains. Engineering major L&T has announced its financial results for the second quarter of the financial year 2013-14 (2QFY14). During the quarter, net sales stood at Rs 145,095 m, higher by 10% on a year-on-year (YoY) basis. Operating profits stood at Rs 14,017 m, reporting a marginal decline of 0.1% YoY. Operating profit margins declined from 10.5% in 2QFY13 to 9.6% in 2QFy14. Other income increased by 35.7% YoY to Rs 4,494 m during the quarter. Depreciation and interest expenses increased by 6.1% YoY and 3.3% YoY, respectively. At the bottomline level, net profits declined by 14.1% YoY. However, it must be noted that the net profits of the two periods are not strictly comparable as there were certain exceptional and extraordinary gains during 2QFY13.