Barring Indonesia (up 0.9%), most major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note with Hong Kong (down 0.7%) and Japan (down 0.7%) leading the losses. The Indian share market indices have opened the day on a positive note. Stocks in the healthcare and information technology space are leading the gains. However, consumer durables stocks are trading weak.
The Sensex today is up by around 20 points (0.1%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 5 points (0.1%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.5% and 0.3% respectively. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 62.31 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Maharashtra Scooters, Ashok Leyland and Hero MotoCorp leading the losses. However, Eicher Motor and Tube Investments are trading firm. Ashok Leyland has announced its standalone financial results for the second quarter of the financial year 2013-14 (2QFY14). During the quarter, the company's net sales (including other operating income) stood at Rs 25,496.2 m, lower by 23.2% on a year-on-year (YoY) basis. The main reason for the decline in the topline is attributable to the slump in commercial vehicle demand. Operating profits plunged sharply by 83.2% YoY to Rs 562.7 m. Operating margins contracted from 10.1% in 2QFY13 to 2.2% in 2QFY14. While depreciation expenses decreased by 8.5% YoY to Rs 900.8 m, finance costs increased by 20% YoY to Rs 1,244.1 m. The company reported an exceptional gain of Rs 437.6 m on account of sale of certain long term investments. At the bottomline level, the company reported net loss of Rs 250.5 m during the quarter as against net profit of Rs 1,426 m in 2QFY13.
Engineering stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Manugraph India and Suzlon Energy leading the gains. However, Thermax Ltd and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) are trading in the red. Tata Group air conditioning and engineering services provider Voltas Ltd has announced its financial results for the second quarter of the financial year 2013-14 (2QFY14). During the quarter, net sales (including other operating income) stood at Rs 10,805.3 m, lower by 7.2% on a year-on-year (YoY) basis. Operating profits stood at Rs 432.4 m, a decline of 1.7% YoY. Operating profit margins improved marginally from 3.8% in 2QFY13 to 4% in 2QFY14 driven by better margin realisations. Other income rose sharply by 65.7% YoY to Rs 302.5 m during the quarter. Depreciation and interest expenses decreased by 21.6% YoY and 35.2% YoY, respectively. At the bottomline level, net profits decreased by 1.4% YoY to Rs 423.8 m. Net profit margins improved marginally from 3.7% in 2QFY13 to 3.9% in 2QFY14. It must be noted that the company had reported an exceptional gain of Rs 145.4 m during 2QFY13. As such, the net profit of the current quarter is not strictly comparable with that of 2QFY13.