Indian equity markets began the day's proceedings on a cautious note but notched gains as buying momentum increased in the ensuing hours. President Barack Obama's victory in the US presidential polls also helped matters. The final trading hour saw the indices remain rangebound but close firmly into the positive. While the Sensex today closed higher by 85 points (up 0.5%), the NSE-Nifty today closed higher by 36 points (0.6%). The BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap also did well and notched gains of 1% each. Gains were largely seen in banking and IT stocks.
As regards global markets, most Asian indices closed mixed today while European indices have opened firm. The rupee was trading at Rs 53.97 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Pharma stocks closed mixed today. While Sun Pharma and Dr.Reddy's found favour, Cadila Healthcare and Cipla closed into the red. Cipla announced results for the second quarter ended September 2012. The company's topline grew by 24% YoY during the quarter led by growth in its international business. International business grew robustly at 33% YoY, driven by higher contribution from Escitalopram generics under 180-days exclusivity to its partner. Cipla's domestic business witnessed growth of 14% YoY. Both the segments notably branded and non-branded grew by the same rate. In the current quarter non branded contributed revenues of ~15% of sales at Rs 1.4 bn. Operating margins improved dramatically by 6.6% leading to a 58% YoY growth in operating profits. This growth was due to higher intake of high margin supply of Escitalopram, lower contribution from low margin ARVs (anti-retrovirals), forex and higher prices realized in few segments. Bottomline increased by 62% YoY during 2QFY13, inspite of higher tax growth of 90%. PAT margin improved by 5.4%. Tax was high due to higher profits.
G E Shipping also announced results for the second quarter ended September 2012. The near 15% drop in topline is indicative of the difficult conditions prevailing in the shipping industry worldwide. The company's charter yield fell 22% for the product carrier segment and 18% for the dry bulk segment. While this is in dollar terms, the appreciation of the rupee would have further compounded the woes. There was also a fall of around 20% in total revenue days. On account of a 2.4% fall in operating margins, operating profits were down to the tune of 24% on a YoY basis. This was mainly due to the 60% jump in the repairs and maintenance costs. A 63% fall in interest outgo as also a meaningful fall in depreciation charges resulted in the company being profitable at PBT level as opposed to a loss during 2QFY12. However, forex loss to the tune of Rs 738 m has adversely impacted profitability, pushing the bottomline into a loss of Rs 381 m.