Indices end flat, Nifty holds 10,900; Sun Pharma tanks 9%

Continuing with their lacklustre performance for the third straight day, the equity benchmark indices settled on a flat note on Friday. While the day witnessed solid buying in bluechips such as Reliance Industries (RIL), HCL Tech, HDFC Bank and TCS, the gains in the index were capped by drubbing in counters including Sun Pharma, Bharti Airtel and L&T.

The S&P BSE Sensex ended just 13 points higher at 36,387, while NSE’s Nifty50 index held the crucial 10,900 level to close at 10,907, up 2 points. On a weekly basis, both the indices ended 1 per cent higher.

Sectorally, barring IT, all other indices ended in the red with the pharma stocks bleeding the most. The Nifty Pharma pack lost nearly 3 per cent to end the day at 8,690.

Shares of pharma bellwether Sun Pharma crashed to their six year- low of Rs 375.40 apiece in the early trade on Friday after news reports suggested fresh whistleblower documents were sent to Sebi. The stock plunged as much as 12 per cent on BSE. The company, however, in a BSE filing clarified that it was not privy to the news reported by MoneyLife. The stock, eventually, ended nearly 9 per cent lower at Rs 390.75.

Shares of Reliance Industries closed over 4 per cent higher at Rs 1,183 apieceon the BSE after the company reported a better-than-expected consolidated net profit of Rs 10,251 crore in October-December quarter (Q3FY19). RIL became the first Indian private sector company to cross Rs 10,000 crore quarterly profits milestone. The company had a profit of Rs 9,420 crore in the year-ago quarter.

In the broader market, the S&P BSE MidCap index closed trading 119 points or 0.79 per cent lower at 15,023 levels, while the S&P BSE Smallcap index ended 107 points or nearly 1 per cent lower at 14,505.

Shares of Sun TV Network, Ashok Leyland, Force Motors, Deepak Fertilisers and Chemicals, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Sun Pharma Advanced Research (SPARC), Nilkamal and Jamana Auto Industries were among eight stocks from the S&P BSE 500 index hit their respective 52-week lows on the BSE on Friday.

Shares of Sun TV Network hit a two-year low of Rs 514, down 9 per cent on the BSE, on back of heavy volumes. The stock of broadcasting & cable TV operator was trading at its lowest level since January 3, 2017.

Shares of telecom services provider Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have fallen by up to 7 per cent on BSE in the intra-day trade. Bharti Airtel has dipped 7 per cent to Rs 310 on the BSE. Vodafone Idea slipped 6 per cent to Rs 34.60, trading close to its 52-week low of Rs 32.10 on December 12, 2018, on BSE in the intra-day trade.

Shares of Wipro were trading firm at Rs 341 apiece, up 1.5 per cent on the BSE, in an otherwise subdued market, ahead of the board meeting today to consider bonus issue and December quarter results. In comparison, the S&P BSE Sensex was down 0.15 per cent at 36,320 points at 11:06 am. Wipro was trading close to its 52-week high of Rs 344 hit on December 13, 2018, on the BSE in intra-day trade.

Rallis India declined 6 per cent to Rs 163 on the BSE in morning deals after it reported 45 per cent year-on-year (YoY) fall in its consolidated net profit at Rs 13.76 crore in December quarter.

While other listed hospital stocks are struggling on the bourses, Apollo Hospitals has been hitting 52-week highs in recent weeks. The company has been an outlier among peers on expectation of better utilisation and performance in the hospitals business and value unlocking through monetisation of its pharmacy business. The latter business is India’s largest, with over 3,000 stores and a standout segment in recent years.

With the telecom sector struggling with pricing pressures and excessive leverage, Bharti Infratel (Infratel), which counts the top telcos as its clients, has been under pressure. Its stock has declined over 18 per cent over the last year on worries of tenancy growth, given the weak balance sheets of its clients and consolidation in the sector. The firm, in a recent interaction with analysts, allayed fears regarding growth in tenancies and potential growth avenues. Given the higher churn after consolidation in the sector, there were worries about tenancies.

The country’s largest consumer goods company, Hindustan Unilever (HUL), on Thursday delivered its fifth straight quarter of double-digit volume growth for the three months ended December 2018 at 10 per cent, as the firm reined in price hikes amid a challenging macro-economic environment. Analysts had factored in volume growth of 8-10 per cent for the quarter under review, implying the figure was in line with Street estimates. However, net profit growth was the slowest in over a year at 8.9 per cent to Rs 1,444 crore, as the company had a higher tax outgo of Rs 510 crore for the quarter versus Rs 297 crore in the year-ago period.

Here are some picks from the week gone by.

Company: Avenue Supermarts CMP: 1380.00 Mastermind

Company: Ajanta Pharma CMP: 1140.15 Mastermind

Company: Bharat Forge CMP: 480.00 Mastermind

Company: DCB Bank CMP: 185.20 Mastermind

Company: Hindustan Unilever CMP: 1746.40 Mastermind

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