Sensex, Nifty end flat, but midcaps shine on strong Q2 performance

Market Closing: Equity benchmarks snapped two-day fall to close mildly higher but broader markets outperformed on Thursday.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 32.12 points at 33,250.93 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 5.80 points to 10,309.

About 1,485 shares advanced against 1,211 declining shares on the BSE.

3:25 pm Buzzing: Coffee Day Enterprises, the owner of Cafe Coffee Day retail chain, has reported a healthy 267 percent growth year-on-year in profit at Rs 59.8 crore for July-September quarter, driven by one-time gain of Rs 53.2 crore.

The stock was locked at 20 percent upper circuit.

3:15 pm Earnings: Bajaj Electricals today reported a 13.92 percent increase in its net profit at Rs 18.98 crore for the September quarter of the current fiscal.

The company had posted a net profit of Rs 16.66 crore during the same period of the previous fiscal, Bajaj Electricals said in a stock exchange filing.

Total income during the quarter under review stood at Rs 935.54 crore. It was Rs 1,005.75 crore in the July-September quarter of 2016-17.

The company said gross sales for the quarter is not comparable with the previous period due to implementation of GST from July 1.

3:05 pm Results Reaction: Amara Raja Batteries shares surged as much as 7 percent and Page Industries gained 10 percent after reporting better-than-expected earnings for quarter ended September 2017.

The automotive battery manufacturer has posted profit after tax of Rs 127.2 crore, lower by 6.7 percent from year-ago period but higher than analyst estimates.

Revenue during the quarter grew by 7.1 percent to Rs 1,427.5 crore and operating income increased 3.6 percent to Rs 238.1 crore but margin contracted by 50 basis points to 16.7 percent compared with corresponding quarter last fiscal.

Profit was estimated at Rs 111.9 crore for the quarter and operating income at Rs 206.4 crore with margin at 13.5 percent, according to average of estimates of analysts polled by CNBC-TV18.

Page Industries, the exclusive licensee of JOCKEY International Inc (USA), has reported a 22.4 percent growth year-on-year in profit at Rs 84 crore and 17.1 percent rise in revenue at Rs 626 crore for the quarter.

Operating profit increased 19.5 percent to Rs 128.4 crore and margin expanded by 40 basis points to 20.5 percent on year-on-year basis.

Numbers were ahead of estimates. Profit was estimated at Rs 80.4 crore and operating income at Rs 125 crore with margin at 19.7 percent for the quarter, according to average of estimates of analysts polled by CNBC-TV18.

2:54 pm Market Check: Benchmark indices continued to consolidate in afternoon, but broader markets outperformed with the Nifty Midcap index rising 0.8 percent. Investors await SBI earnings and the outcome of GST Council's two-day meeting due tomorrow.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 24.57 points at 33,243.38 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 2.80 points at 10,306.

Most active shares on the exchanges were Tata Motors & Rain Industries after Q2 earnings, and SBI ahead of numbers due tomorrow.

2:44 pm Earnings: Animal healthcare firm Hester Biosciences today reported a 47.99 percent rise in its standalone net profit to Rs 8.85 crore for the September quarter, mainly on account of robust sales in large divisions.

The company had posted a net profit of Rs 5.98 crore for the corresponding period of the previous fiscal, Hester Biosciences said in a BSE filing.

"The operations indicate that the large animal vaccine business has a good potential for improving the profitability of the company. The growth anticipated is also from the large animal vaccines," the company said.

Standalone net sales of the company also rose to Rs 38.47 crore for the quarter under consideration as against Rs 30.17 crore in the same period year ago.

2:29 pm Market Check: Benchmark indices continued to be rangebound in the afternoon session, with the Nifty trading around 10,300, while Sensex held 33200-mark.

The Sensex was down 15.78 points at 33203.03, while the Nifty was down 6.50 points at 10296.70. the market breadth was negative as 1247 shares advanced against a decline of 1296 shares, while 138 shares were unchanged.

ICICI Bank, Asian Paints and Indiabulls Housing gained the most on both indices, while Bharti Airtel, Coal India and ONGC were the top losers.

2:10 pm SBI lending rate: State Bank of India Chairman Rajnish Kumar today said that there is limited space for further easing of the lending rate.

It seems so, he said in reply to a question if the rate cut cycle is over for now.

"If you look at the bond yields, they have gone up in the recent past. So, I think the headroom available for cutting down the interest rates, both deposit and lending (seems limited). Deposit rate unless you cut you cannot cut lending rate ... for time being we are in for much more stable interest rate," he said.

Here are the top headlines at 2 pm from Moneycontrol News' Anchal Pathak

1:58 pm Tata Motors Results: Commercial and passenger vehicle maker Tata Motors has reported a robust three-fold growth in profit for July-September quarter, driven by better-than-expected JLR's operational perormance.

Profit during the quarter increased to Rs 2,501.67 crore, from Rs 848.16 crore in same quarter last fiscal.

Profit was expected at Rs 1,391 crore on revenue of Rs 69,985 crore for the quarter, according to average of estimates of analysts polled by CNBC-TV18.

Jaguar Land Rover reported operating profit margin at 11.8 percent and EBITDA at 6,300 million pound against CNBC-TV18 poll estimates of 10.7 percent and 6,395 million pound, respectively.

1:45 pm Market Check: Benchmark indices trimmed some of its losses, but continue to trade lower side, with the Nifty trading below 10300. Midcaps post marginal gains and outperform benchmarks.

The Sensex was down 5.77 points at 33213.04, while the Nifty was down 7.70 points at 10295.50. The market breadth was negative as 1,195 shares advanced against a decline of 1,315 shares, while 131 shares were unchanged.

Cadila Healthcare was down 5.6 percent after Credit Suisse downgrades the stock to neutral and slashes target price. The research firm sees increased competition after Teva also received a tentative approval from the US FDA for ulcerative colitis drug, which was sooner than expected.

Aurobindo Pharma was down about 2 percent ahead of Q2 numbers, while Tata Motors traded 1% up ahead of earnings that will be declared post market hours.

ICICI Bank, Reliance Industries and Indiabulls Housing were the top gainers on both indices, while ONGC, Bharti Airtel and Coal India lost the most.

1:35 pm Expert view on IT sector: Hiring in India's IT sector will be slower in future, says a senior figure in the technology field, who also did not sound optimistic about the industry achieving 7-8 percent export growth in this fiscal. Former Chief Financial Officer of Infosys, V Balakrishnan, however, appeared positive about the industry's growth prospects next year.

On his assessment of the performance of the IT industry in the first half of 2017-18, he said the current financial year is going to be challenging on the growth front because of "what's happening" in the developed markets.

1:22 pm Cadila Healthcare falls: Cadila Healthcare shares lost as much as 5.6 percent Thursday after Credit Suisse has downgraded the stock to neutral and slashed target price to Rs 465 per share.

The research house also cut its FY19/20 EPS estimates for the company by 3/10 percent to account for Lialda competition.

The competition will increase for the Lialda generic as Teva Pharma also received tentative approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for ulcerative colitis drug. The approval was sooner than expected.

1:05 pm Buzzing Stock: Following reports of a likely cut in rates of many items under the purview of goods and services tax (GST), GSK Consumer soared over 3.5 percent intraday on Thursday.

Tax rates on 150-200 items are likely to be cut from 28 percent, with the GST Council set to approve sweeping changes including simpler procedures and a single return filing form for small firms in its next meeting on Friday.

At 13:16 hrs GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare was quoting at Rs 5,810.00, up Rs 161.70, or 2.86 percent, on the BSE. It touched a 52-week high of Rs 5,846.55.

12:42 pm Market Check: Equity benchmarks erased all morning gains to trade lower in afternoon, weighed by HDFC, ITC, Aurobindo Pharma and ONGC that fell 2-3 percent. Reliance Industries and ICICI Bank, however, capped losses.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 79.59 points at 33,139.22 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 27 points to 10,276.20.

About 1,347 shares declined against 1,091 advancing shares on the BSE.

12:35 pm Listing on Friday: Mahindra Logistics, the 3rd party logistics (3PL) solutions provider, will list its equity shares on exchanges on November 10. The issue price is fixed at Rs 429 per share.

The initial public offering was oversubscribed over 7.9 times during October 31-November 2, 2017.

The reserved portion for qualified institutional buyers (QIBs) was oversubscribed 15.60 times, non-institutional investors 2.04 times and retail investors 6.10 times.

The subsidiary of Mahindra & Mahindra raised Rs 829.35 crore through the issue, at higher end of price band of Rs 425-429 per share. Out of which, Rs 247 crore had raised from anchor investors.

12:26 pm Cadila Healthcare down 5%: Credit Suisse has downgraded Cadila Healthcare to neutral and slashed target price to Rs 465 per share, following cut in FY19/20 EPS estimates by 3/10 percent to account for Lialda competition.

The research house feels FY20 profits will be flattish with faster competition in Lialda.

Rival Teva has received approval from USFDA for Lialda generic sooner than expected.

12:15 pm Buzzing: Ashok Leyland fell over 2 percent intraday as investors reacted to the company's September quarter earnings, which missed estimates.

The company reported a gain of 13.5 percent in the net profit at Rs 334.2 crore against Rs 294.4 crore year on year. Revenues for the firm came in 30.8 percent higher at Rs 6,047 crore against Rs 4,622.4 crore reported in the same quarter last year.

On the operational front, the earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was higher by 14 percent at Rs 611.8 crore against Rs 536.5 crore year on year.

Meanwhile, the operating margin was reported at 10.1 percent against 11.6 percent reported in the same quarter last year.

Global research firm Nomura has maintained its buy call on the stock with a target of Rs 140. It observed that the earnings were below estimates and it is awaiting clarity on the share of defence, spare parts revenues during the quarter.

12:03 pm Sahara insurance biz: Sahara Life has renewed its challenge to Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority's (IRDA) order on merger of business into ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, reports CNBC-TV18, quoting sources.

The company has moved the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) against IRDA through promoter companies - Sahara India Financial Corporation and Sahara Care. The plea via promoter companies is to circumvent Irda's objection.

Sources said it may cite the Supreme Court order in the Sahara Mutual Fund case as reference point in the case versus Sahara Life.

11:59 am IPO subscription: HDFC Standard Life's initial public offering has been oversubscribed 1.35 times.

The issue received bids for 29,53,71,150 shares against the total IPO size of 21,97,59,218 shares, as per NSE data.

The portion meant for qualified institutional buyers (QIBs) was oversubscribed 4.05 times, non-institutional investors 0.5211 times and retail investors 0.5222 percent.

11:52 am Market Check: Benchmark indices were off early highs amid consolidation in late morning deals as investors focussed on corporate earnings and GST Council meet that started today.

The fall in HDFC, ITC and Bharti Airtel was offset by gains in index heavyweights Reliance Industries and ICICI Bank that rallied around 2 percent.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 63.37 points at 33,282.18 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 17.20 points to 10,320.40.

The market breadth remained in favour of advances. About 1,335 shares advanced against 1,029 declining shares on the BSE>

11:37 am Oil Prices Trade: Oil prices held steady today after falling late in the previous session, supported by ongoing supply cuts led by OPEC and Russia.

However, traders said a price rally that has pushed up Brent crude by over 40 percent since July may have run its course due to increases in US supplies and some indicators of a demand slowdown.

Brent futures were at USD 63.51 per barrel, up 0.03 percent, from their last close, but about USD 1 off the more than two-year high of USD 64.65 a barrel reached earlier this week.

11:25 am Buzzing: Shares of Petronet LNG touched 52-week high of Rs 275.30, advancing 5.7 percent intraday on robust September quarter numbers.

The company has posted a 28 percent increase in September-quarter profit to Rs 589 crore against Rs 459.56 crore in the same quarter last fiscal.
Income of the company rose 17.5 percent at Rs 7770 crore against Rs 6614 crore.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of the company was at Rs 898.7 crore and EBIDTA margin was at 11.6 percent.

11:15 am Stocks rally ahead of GST Council meet: Consumers, light electrical and home building companies' shares prices rallied up to 6 percent on Thursday as these firms may benefit from the upcoming 23rd meeting of GST Council that is scheduled to commence on November 10.

Hindustan Unilever, Asian Paints, Bata, Crompton Consumer, V-Guard, Kajaria Ceramics, Bajaj Electricals, Finolex Cables, Greenply Industries and Bombay Dyeing rallied 1-6 percent.

Motilal Oswal feels the GST Council is likely to make sweeping changes to the GST framework, with an aim to ease the compliance burden for small businesses and recalibrate the tax rates on many common-use goods that fall under the 28 percent slab.

By making changes to the GST framework, the Indian government is attempting to address the concerns facing the SMEs post the implementation of the new tax system.

11:05 am Earnings Estimates: Aurobindo Pharma's second quarter consolidated profit is seen rising 15 percent to Rs 695.7 crore, compared with Rs 605.6 crore in same quarter last fiscal.

Revenue during the quarter is likely to increase 12.4 percent to Rs 4,245 crore, from Rs 3,775.5 crore in year-ago, according to average of estimates of analysts polled by CNBC-TV18.

EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) may increase 15.6 percent year-on-year to Rs 1,074.4 crore and margin may expand 110 basis points to 25.7 percent for quarter ended September 2017.

10:55 am Buzzing: Arvind share price gained nearly 3 percent as Credit Suisse has maintained outperform rating on the stock, with increased target price at Rs 540 (from Rs 450 per share) after Q2 earnings.

The July-September quarter was muted for textile business but brands segment did normal.

Triggers for further upmove in stock could be continuing high revenue growth, expanding margins and and re-rating.

Engineering and fashion business demerged into separate companies that would be listing next year.

The research house feels process for listing new companies may take about eight months.

Fashion business valuation suggest slight premium while textile business valued reasonable may have low downside risk, Credit Suisse said.

10:47 am Global Gold Demand: Global gold demand during the third quarter of this year dropped by 9 percent to 915 tonnes as compared to the same period last year, according to a report by the World Gold Council (WGC).

This decline in demand was mainly driven by significantly lower inflows into exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the US and softer quarter in the jewellery sector in India, according to WGC's Global gold demand in Q3 2017.

The global jewellery demand was down 3 percent in the July-September quarter as the newly introduced Goods and Services Tax (GST) and tighter anti-money laundering regulations around transactions in India deterred buyers.

The jewellery demand stood at 479 tonnes during the third quarter of 2017, compared to 495 tonnes in the same period of 2016.

10:42 am Management Interview: Gopal Mahadevan, CFO, Ashok Leyland, told CNBC-TV18 that the company hasn't been able to pass on the price hike in raw materials to customers. ''Hence, we haven't undertaken a price hike this quarter.''

10:35 am Market Check: Benchmark indices continued to trade higher amid consolidation in morning, backed by Reliance Industries, HUL, Tata Motors, SBI and ICICI Bank (leading contributors to Nifty gains). HDFC and ITC, however, capped gains.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 99.12 points at 33,317.93 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 35.10 points at 10,338.30.

The broader markets continued to outperform benchmarks as the Nifty Midcap gained 0.8 percent on strong breadth. About three shares advanced for every share falling on the BSE.

PSU Bank index outperformed all indices, rising nearly 2 percent. Indian Bank, PNB, Bank of India, Union Bank, Syndicate Bank and SBI were up 1.5-7 percent.

10:20 am Rupee Trade: The rupee advanced by 7 paise to 64.87 against the dollar at the interbank forex market today on increased selling of the US currency by exporters and banks.

A weak dollar against other currencies overseas supported the rupee gains.

Stocks markets opening with gains also bolstered the domestic currency, a dealer said.

Yesterday, the rupee had staged a mild recovery after a two-session fall and ended higher by 7 paise at 64.96 against the US currency.

10:10 am Buzzing: Cement, calcined petroleum coke and specialty chemicals maker Rain Industries share price touched a fresh record high of Rs 373.90, rising as much as 10 percent post stellar earnings performance.

With maintaining buy call on the stock, Motilal Oswal said it has raised target price to Rs 492 (from Rs 362 per share) following increase in EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) estimates and carbon margins.

It has raised estimates for carbon margins from USD 100 per tonne to USD 120 per tonne. As a result, consolidated EBITDA has increased by 17/22/21 percent for CY17/CY18/CY19, it added.

Rain Industries reported very strong earnings growth, driven by structural changes in market dynamics for its carbon business. Consolidated EBITDA increased 49 percent YoY to Rs 673 crore, beating Motilal Oswal's estimate of Rs 500 crore by a wide margin, due to both stronger margins (USD 118 per tonne versus estimate of USD 85 per tonne) and volumes (475kt versus estimate of 425kt CPC volumes) in the carbon business.

9:59 am Management interview: Meghmani Organics has seen good growth across all segments. Margins have improved on the back of higher product prices.

In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Kaushal Soparkar, MD of Meghmani Organics said capacity utilisation raised to 85 percent from 65 percent earlier.

On expansion front, he said in basic chemicals we have announced three projects and we have planned an expansion in chloromethane segment.

He further said that the domestic business accounts for 48 percent of total revenue.

Talking about performance, he said it will remain intact for the rest of the year.

On future growth perspective, he said we are targeting to maintain EBITDA minimum of 20 percent and profit after tax (PAT) should remain between 8.5 and 9 percent going ahead.

9:50 am Results reaction: Shares of Va Tech Wabag and Bombay Dyeing rose 3-5 percent in morning on robust Q2 numbers.

Va Tech Wabag has recorded 42 percent jump in its Q2 net profit at Rs 37.6 crore and total income rose 14 percent at Rs 886.5 crore.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was up 34 percent at Rs 58.96 crore and margins were up 120 bps at 8.7 percent.

Bombay Dyeing has turned profitable in the quarter ended September 2017 as it report profit at Rs 52.8 crore versus loss of 36.5 crore in the same quarter last year. Income of the company was up 35 percent at Rs 692.2 crore.

9:40 am Tax notice: IT firm HCL Infosystems said it has received a Rs 312-crore tax demand notice from GST Commissionerate.

Besides, an additional interest and an equivalent amount of penalty have also been imposed separately under the CENVAT Credit Rules, HCL Infosystems said in a filing to the BSE.

"...the company has received on November 7, an order dated October 30 from the Office of the Principal Commissioner, Central Goods and Services Tax Commissionerate, Noida raising demand of Rs 312.34 crore under Rule 14 of the CENVAT Credit Rules...," it said.

9:37 am Bharti Airtel rebounds 1.5% after 3.5% fall previous session: Qatar Foundation, a non-profit run by the gas-rich country's royal family, on Wednesday sold its entire 5 percent stake in India's largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel for about Rs 9,600 crore.

Three Pillars Pte, an affiliate of Qatar Foundation Endowment, sold 19.98 crore shares in Bharti Airtel via an open market sale.

Three Pillars' representative on board of Bharti Airtel will step down immediately post settlement of the sale, a statement by Qatar Foundation said.

The proceeds of the share sale amounts to about Rs 9600 crore and will be reinvested across Qatar Foundation Endowment's global portfolio.

9:25 am Import duty: The government today doubled the import duty on wheat to 20 percent to curb cheap shipments and give positive price signal to farmers in the ongoing Rabi season.

It also imposed import duty of 50 percent on peas to check cheaper shipments from countries like Canada.

The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) in a notification said that it seeks "to (i) increase rate of basic customs duty on Peas, (Pisum sativum) from present Nil rate to 50 percent. (ii) increase rate of basic customs duty on wheat from 10 percent to 20 percent."

In March, the government had imposed 10 per cent import duty on wheat to contain sharp fall in local prices in view of bumper crop of 98.38 million tonnes in 2016-17 crop year (July-June).

9:20 am Buzzing: Shares of Muthoot Finance added 4.5 percent in morning on the back of strong Q2 (July-September) numbers.

Muthoot Finance has recorded 53.1 percent jump in its Q2 net profit at Rs 454.1 crore versus Rs 296.7 crore in the same quarter last fiscal.

The net interest income of the company rose 51.5 percent at Rs 1149.6 crore versus Rs 788 crore.

As on September 30, 2017 the company's loan assets stood at Rs 27608 crore as against Rs 27852 crore at June 30, 2017.

M G George Muthoot, Chairman of the company said, "Another historic record performance with 53 percent increase in net profits at Rs 454 crore. The performance again reiterates the robustness of collection mechanism followed by the company while protecting customer interest.''

9:15 am Market Check: Equity benchmarks opened sharply higher after correction seen in previous two consecutive sessions, backed by positive global cues and a bit of short covering in beaten down stocks.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 155.34 points at 33,374.15 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 48.30 points at 10,351.50.

Reliance Industries, Tata Motors, ICICI Bank, IOC, HUL, SBI, Vedanta, HPCL, Axis Bank, Sun Pharma, Bharti Airtel and Tata Steel gained 1-2 percent while Coal India, IndusInd Bank, Eicher Motors and Infosys were under pressure.

Nifty Midcap rallied 0.9 percent on strong market breadth. About five shares advanced for every share falling on the BSE.

Meghmani Organics, Bombay Dyeing, Petronet LNG, Muthoot Finance, Pidilite Industries, VA Tech Wabag, ITD Cementation and Voltas were up 1-10 percent post earnings.

HSIL, Nitco Tiles, Cera Sanitaryware, Kajaria Ceramics, CG Consumer and Havells gained 1-5 percent.