Stocks
Nifty, Sensex still on an uptrend: Tuesday closing report

The uptrend in the last two days was stymied in a yet another choppy trading session today. Nifty is still on an uptrend. The first sign of weakness will be a close below 6150 tomorrow

The markets on Tuesday opened weakly, and nervously stayed in the green through the morning session before falling into the negative territory, albeit marginally, where it remained there through the remainder of the trading session. The choppiness was apparent throughout the day, signifying lack of direction and uncertainty. Nifty managed to hold the crucial psychological level of 6,200.
 

The S&P BSE Sensex opened at 20,863 and touched an intraday high of 20,948 before correcting downwards to an intra-day low of 20,810 in the afternoon session. It closed at 20,864 (down 28.92 points or 0.14%). Nifty opened at 6,192, hit a high of 6,220 then hit an intra-day low of 6,181 before clawing its way back to at 6,202 (down 2.15 points or 0.03%).
 

The number of advances outpaced the number of declines. Out of 1,224 stocks, 778 were up, 404 were down and 42 were unchanged. The National Stock Exchange witnessed much higher volumes compared to the two preceding trading sessions with 78.08 lakh shares were traded. High volume of trading without meaningful advancement after a long rally usually signifies that the bulls are running out of ammunition.
 

Most sectoral indices were in the green with exception of CNX Auto, CNX Finance, CNX FMCG, CNX MNC and CNX Realty, which were down marginally. Small-caps index finished strongly, moving up 1.19%.
 

Of the 50 stocks in the Nifty, the advanced to decline ratio was split almost equally, which saw 24 stocks advance and 25 decline and one unchanged. The top five gainers were Tata Power (2.75%), HCL Technologies (2.72%), Power Grid (2.46%), Axis Bank (2.05%) and GAIL (2.03%). The top five losers were Hindalco Jindal Steel (-1.82%), Ranbaxy (-1.45%), Hero Motors (-1.42%), Mahinda & Mahindra (-1.42%) and DLF (-1.20%).
 

Poor governance and regulatory hurdles claimed a major foreign miner: BHP Billiton. BHP Billiton has reportedly forfeited nine oil & gas blocks in the country, citing regulatory delays from the government. At a time when India is desperately seeking foreign capital to close its deficit, this would come as a big blow.
 

Asian markets ended mixed. Only Indonesia’s Jakarta index finished poorly, down 1.43%. Majority of the European markets too were trading in the green following US jobs data which was interpreted as positive. The US futures were trading in the green too.

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Persistent Systems Q2 net profit up 45% to Rs60.8 crore

During the September quarter, Persistent Systems recorded robust growth in net profits on strong revenues from its infrastructure and systems segment

Persistent Systems, information technology (IT) and software services provider, reported a 45% jump in its second quarter net profit on strong revenues from its infrastructure and systems segment.
 

For the quarter to end-September, the company said its net profit increased to Rs60.8 crore from Rs41.8 crore while total revenues, including sales, grew 23% to Rs307.9 crore from Rs250.4 crore, same period a year ago.
 

“We continue to invest in creating next-generation technology solutions for our customers. During the quarter, we have also expanded internationally in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) and APAC (Asia Pacific) and have opened our collaborative software development centre in Ohio,” said Dr Anand Deshpande, chairman, managing director and CEO, Persistent Systems.
 

The company’s total revenues come from three main segment with infrastructure and systems segment contributing the highest at 76%, followed by telecom and wireless at 13% and life sciences and healthcare at 11%.
 

Persistent systems also benefited by the rupee depreciation. It also recorded growth in its intellectual property led business.
 

Its expenditure during the September quarter increased 11% at Rs222.02 crore compared with Rs200.14 crore a year ago period.
 

Persistent System closed Tuesday marginally higher at Rs744.9 on the BSE, while the benchmark Sensex ended marginally down at 20,865.

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UltraTech Cement Q2 net profit tumbles 52% as outlook remains challenging

Slowdown in infrastructure and household projects results in decrease in profit for the country’s largest cement manufacturer during the September quarter

UltraTech Cement Ltd, India’s largest cement manufacturer, reported a 52% fall in its September quarter net profit on sluggish demand coupled with rising input and energy costs. The Aditya Birla group company said it expects the outlook to remain challenging during FY14.

 

For the quarter to end-September, the cement maker said its net profit fell to Rs264.1 crore from Rs550 crore while its total revenues from operations declined 4.3% to Rs4521.9 crore from Rs4729.4 crore, same period last year.

 

"The outlook continues to remain challenging. Demand growth in FY14 is likely to be around 5%, though in the long term growth is likely to be over 8%," UltraTech said in a release.

 

During the second quarter, the cement producer’s total expenses, including a sharp increase in employee benefit expense and depreciation and amortisation, increased to Rs4,099.7 crore from Rs3,926.7 crore in September 2012 quarter.

 

At 11.15am Tuesday, UltraTech Cement was trading marginally down at Rs1944.7 on the BSE, while the benchmark Sensex was marginally up at 20,916.

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