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Small, midcaps out of favour
Fri, 29 Oct 01:30 pm

The Indian indices moved closer to the dotted line during the previous hour of trade. While heavyweights from the FMCG, consumer durables and oil & gas spaces are finding some favour at the moment, those from the metal and auto spaces are amongst the key underperformers. The market sentiment seems to be skewed towards the negative side as the overall decline to advance ratio is poised at 1.5 to 1 on the overall BSE.

The BSE-Sensex is currently trading lower by about 20 points (down 0.1%), while the NSE-Nifty is trading lower by 3 points (down 0.06%). Stocks from the small and midcap spaces are seeing more pressure as the BSE-Smallcap and BSE-Midcap indices are trading lower by 0.5% and 0.4% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.53 to the US dollar.

Capital goods stocks are currently trading mixed with BHEL, Thermax and L&T trading firm, while ABB and Alstom Projects are leading the pack of losers. Gains in the BHEL’s stock are on the back of the company announcing a good set of results for the quarter ended September 2010. The company’s revenues and profits increased by 26% YoY and 33% YoY. The increase in revenues was led by the company’s ‘power’ segment, which grew by 28% YoY and formed nearly 80% of total revenues. The company’s ‘industry‘ business grew at a slower pace of 16% YoY. At the operating level, profits were up by 30% YoY on the back of a 0.7% expansion in margins. BHEL’s operating margins stood at 17.7% during the quarter. The expansion in margins was led by lower staff and other expenses (as percentage of sales). The increase in net profits was mainly due to the expansion in operating margins as also a lower effective tax rate. During 1HFY11, revenues and profits were higher by 21% YoY and 36% YoY respectively.

Metal stocks are trading in the red with substantial selling pressure on the counters of SAIL, Bhushan Steel, Tata Steel, Sterlite, NALCO and Hindalco, with SAIL being the biggest loser so far. SAIL announced its 2QFY11 results yesterday. The company has reported a 6.6% YoY growth in sales. However, bottom-line registered a sharp decline of 34.5% YoY during the quarter. The topline grew on the back of strong output from Bhilai, Durgapur and Rourkela steel plants. Other operating income increased 122% during the quarter. Operating margins fell to 16% this quarter as compared to 24% in 2QFY10, mainly due to raw material price escalation. Raw material cost as a percentage of revenues increased from 50% in 2QFY10 to 54% in 2QFY11. Net profits declined 34.5% YoY in 2QFY11 on the back of lower other income, higher depreciation and an increase in interest expenses.

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