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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Post Session Market

The market closed the session on a strong note as both the benchmark indices touched new heights to close with handsome gains. The BSE Sensex closed higher by 788.85 points at 18,280.24 and Nifty closed firm at 5,327.25 up by 242.15 points. The Sensex covers the journey of 17,000 to 18,000 mark in just 8 straight trading session. It touched an intraday high of 18,327.42 during the trading session. All the sectoral indices closed in green. Most buying is seen across oil and gas, metal, capital goods and reality, power and telecom stocks. The rally was on the back of easing down of political concerns. Though the market opened on a weak note but manages to make a huge turnaround as buying intensified across all the sectoral indices. Overall, the market breadth was strong as 1,784 stocks closed in green while 933 stocks closed in red. The BSE Mid Cap and Small Cap closed higher by 187.10 points and 175.76 points at 7,398.70 and 8,976.76 respectively.
The oil and gas index surged by 637.52 points to close at 10,435.17 as the central government is discussing the matter to issue more oil bonds for the oil companies to compensate for the rise in global crude oil prices and the government is no mood to hike the oil prices. Leading this rally are Reliance industries 7.59%, RPL 6.72%, GAIL 5.69%, ONGC 4.85%, BPCL 3.69% and HPCL 2.39% closed in green.
BSE Metal index grew by 491.32 points at 14,080.93. Adding to the rally are SAIL 6.70%, Tata steel 5.78%, JSW steel 5.69%, Nalco 3.57%, Sterlite 2.27% and Hindalco 1.52% closed higher.
The IT index closed up by 119.87 points at 4,890.18. Pushing it up are Wipro 4.18%, Mphasis 3.66%, HCL tech 3.39%, Satyam 3.29%, Infosys 2.38% and TCS 1.66%.
The capital goods index increased by 488.81 points to close at 15,934.44 as L&T (4.73%), Siemens (2.32%), BHEL (2.10%) and ABB (2.09%) closed higher.
BSE bankex index grew 288.85 points to close at 9,273.41. Pushing it up are Kotak Bank (6.69%), SBI (6.01%), BOI (5.79%), Yes Bank (4.32%), ICICI Bank (2.89%)

Market Close: Worries continue..but 18k achieved !

The impact of political uncertainties was witnessed in the initial trading sessions. Global cues were nothing to settle on. However, Investors were back in action as soon as the meeting between the left and ruling party postponed to October 22nd and index crossed 18k. Rally was led by index heavy weights but mid caps and small caps gained momentum later. Full support from the traders made sure that Sensex sustains above 18,000. The gainers in the last leg of the march towards 18,000 were on the Oil &Gas, Reality, Technology and consumer goods counters. European market was in green.

The journey from 17,000 to 18,000 was covered in just 8 days. The major contributors for the rally were RIL, Infosys, REL, L&T, Rcom. FII?s pumped in $ 2.54 billion to be a part of the rally from 17k to 18k.

Sensex closed higher by 887 points at 18310.24. It was helped up by gains in RCVL (713.9,+13 percent), Rel Energy (1542,+13 percent), RIL (2612,+9 percent), Maruti (1107,+9 percent) and NTPC (218.65,+7 percent).

Rajesh exports reported a good set of numbers for the September ended quarter. The top line grew by 19% at Rs 2,044 cr. The Net profit margins improved by 200 bps at 3%. Net profit stood at Rs.54 cr. Exports contributed 93% of the revenues. The stock trades at 26 times its earnings. The order book stands at Rs 1,526 crore. The stock closed higher by 2%. Gems and jewellery business is doing well in India. However, high working capital nature of this business takes away the cream. Gitanjali is another player in this segment which we have covered in our research. Do read our note to know more.

Leading plastic water tanks maker Sintex Industries registered a substantial jump of 43 % in net profits for the quarter ended September 2007 helped by strong sales volume and improved operating margin. During the quarter the company saw a rise in profits to Rs 45 Cr as against Rs 31 Cr in the same quarter consolidated last year. The net sales for the quarter climbed by 46% to Rs 389 Cr when compared with the corresponding quarter a year ago. The operating margins increased to 20% during the quarter a rise of 300 basis points compared with the corresponding quarter a year ago. It has even heads in textile division which manufactures poplin, coats, polyester shirting, sarees, dhoties, corduroy cloth and other fashion fabrics. The company?s plastic division is its mainstay contributing 72% of the total turnover. SIL has globally competitive position with leadership position across all categories in water tanks, pre-fabricated structures, interior products and industrial products. Its plastic products are well known by the Sintex brand. The stock traded marginally down.

Technically Speaking: Sensex opened gap down with 100 odd points but rallied over 1000 points for the day from days low. Sensex witnessed an intra day high of 18,327 and low of 17,287. Advances out numbered declines in the ratio of 2:1. Volume for the day stood at 7,793 cr. Sensex has nearly reached our targets of 18500. Traders can look to book their gains and wait for the markets to correct.

Sensex 18,000 Hurray!

The market was back on track after slipping over 280 points yesterday. Following weak Asian markets, the Sensex opened marginally lower at 17,402 and slipped further to touch the day's low of 17,287, down 204 points to its previous close. The market soon overcame the early hitch and made steady progress before a strong bout of buying lifted the index past 18,000 level. The Sensex climbed 1,000 points from 17,000 in eight sessions only. The market thereafter rallied sharply and touched the lifetime high of 18,327, up 1,040 points from its day's low. The Sensex closed with gains of 4.51% and was up 789 points at 18,280, while the Nifty rose 4.76% and gained 242 points to close at 5,327.

The market breadth was firm, with the gainers outpacing the losers in the ratio of 1.86:1. Of the 2,782 stocks traded on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), 1,766 stocks advanced, 947 stocks declined and 69 stocks ended unchanged. While the BSE Oil & Gas index and the BSE Realty index gained over 5-6%, the rest of the sectoral indices jumped over 2-4% each.

All the 30 stocks of Sensex closed in the green. Reliance Energy was the star performer and surged 11.17% at Rs1,534. Reliance Communication spurted 10.13% at Rs706, Maruti Udyog scaled up 7.80% at Rs1,105, Reliance Industries soared 7.59% at Rs2,600, NTPC advanced 6.38% at Rs218, SBI moved up by 6.01% at Rs1,889 and Tata Steel added 5.78% at Rs835.

Oil & gas stocks registered significant gains. Reliance Petroleum surged 6.72% at Rs161, Gail soared 5.69% at Rs385, ONGC firmed up by 4.85% at Rs985 and BPCL added 3.69% at Rs386.

Over 3.61 crore Reliance Natural Resources shares changed hands on the BSE followed by IFCI (2.76 crore shares), Power Grid Corporation (2.63 crore shares), Tata Teleservices (2.41 crore shares) and Ispat Industries (2.13 crore shares).

Reliance Energy was the most actively traded counter on the BSE and registered a turnover of Rs440 crore followed by Reliance Communication (Rs407 crore), Reliance Industries (Rs355 crore), Reliance Capital (Rs313 crore) and Reliance Natural Resources (Rs306 crore).

Sensex gains 789 points in biggest single-day rally

Sensex surged further towards the latter part of the trading session after touching a milestone of 18,000 in mid-afternoon trade, as worries of an early election eased. The rally was led by gains in top private firm and index heavyweight Reliance Industries. Realty, capital goods and metal stocks surged. All the sectoral indices on BSE were in green. Market breadth was strong. Most Asian markets ended in green today. European markets were trading mixed.

The BSE 30-share Sensex ended up 788.85 points, or 4.51%, to 18,280.24, an all-time closing high. It hit an all-time high of 18,327.42 in late trade. Sensex opened with an downward gap of 89.15 points at 17,402.24 and soon declined to hit intra-day low of 17,287.19 in early trade before bouncing back. At day's low of 17,287.19, Sensex had lost 204.2 points for the day.

Sensex completed its 17,000 to 18,000 journey in just 8 trading sessions, the second fastest 1,000-point rally ever. The market had hit 17,000 mark on 26 September 2007.

The broader based S&P CNX Nifty ended up 242.15 points, or 4.76%, to 5,327.25, a record closing high. It hit an all-time high of 5,348.70 in late trade today. It had hit a low of 5000.95 in early trade.

Equity markets in seven other Asian countries also rose to records today.

The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the centre and its communist allies stepped back from the brink on Tuesday, 9 October 2007, agreeing to meet again this month to resolve a row over a nuclear deal with the United States. The next meeting of the UPA-Left committee which is looking into Left Front’s concerns over nuclear deal will be held on 22 October 2007. The committee held its fourth meeting in New Delhi today, 9 October 2007.

The meeting was held in the backdrop of widening of rift on the nuclear deal with Left parties rejecting a plea of the government that it be allowed to engage in negotiations with International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) over the nuke deal.

The fact the two sides would meet again signaled that the communists, whose parliamentary support keeps the ruling coalition in power, would not withdraw their support for the government immediately which the stock market had feared. The market soared soon after today's UPA-Left meeting got over some time in afternoon.

BSE clocked a turnover of Rs 7793 crore compared to Rs 8036.49 crore on Monday 8 October 2007. NSE's futures & options (F&O) segment clocked a turnover of 82,362.26 crore today, 9 October 2007 compared to a turnover of Rs 69,842.2 crore on 8 October 2007.

Nifty October 2007 futures were at 5,337 at a premium of 9.75 points or 0.18% to spot price of 5,327.25.

All the 30-Sensex stocks were in the green. The market breadth was quite strong on BSE: 1,754 scrips advanced, 930 declined, while 380 remained unchanged.

The BSE Mid Cap index rose 2.59% to 7,398.70 and BSE Small Cap index rose 2% to 8,976.76. However, both the indices underperformed Sensex.

Reliance Energy surged 11.17% to Rs 1,533.65 and was the top gainer from the Sensex pack. It hit an all-time high of Rs 1,542 today. Reliance Communications rose 10.13% to Rs 705.85. It hit an all-time high of 714.90 today. Reliance Capital rose 8.72% to Rs 1,768.35.

Maruti Suzuki was up 7.8% to Rs 1,105.35. It hit an all-time high of Rs 1,115 today. NTPC rose 6.38% to Rs 217.70.

India’s largest private company in terms of market capitalisation and oil refiner Reliance Industries rose 7.59% to Rs 2,600.45. It hit an all time high of Rs 2,615.40 today. Reliance Industrial Infrastructure hit 5% upper circuit at 1,868.70.

Metal stocks bounced back from Monday's fall. Tata Steel (up 5.78% to Rs 834.60), Hindalco Industries (up 1.52% to Rs 164) and JSW Steel (up 5.69% to Rs 849.95) edged higher.

State Bank of India rose 6.01% to Rs 1,889.75.

Infosys rose 2.38% to Rs 2,048, extending its recent solid rebound. Infosys will announce Q2 September 2007 results on Thursday, 11 October 2007.

A total of seven brokerages expect a between 0.58% fall to a 4.6% rise in Infosys’ consolidated net profit as per Indian GAAP to between Rs 1,072.70 crore to Rs 1128.70 crore in Q2 September 2007 compared to net profit of Rs 1,079 crore Q1 June 2007. They expect a between 6.8% to 9.7% growth in Infosys’ revenue at between Rs 4,028.60 crore to Rs 4,138.40 crore in Q2 September 2007 compared to revenue of Rs 3,773 crore in Q1 June 2007.

Capital goods stocks surged. Larsen & Toubro (L&T) rose 4.73% to Rs 3,163.20 after it announced that Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) has awarded an order valued at Rs 693 crore to the company.

Wind turbine maker Suzlon Energy rose 1.61% to Rs 1,673.20 after its US subsidiary Suzlon Energy Corp received a 400 mega watt contract from Houston-based Horizon Wind Energy. Bharat Heavy Electricals was up 2.1% to Rs 2,236.75 after it said it won a contract worth Rs 394 crore to build a power plant in southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Among side counters, Phoenix International (up 20% to Rs 30), Intellvision Software (up 20% to Rs 147.80), iGate Global Solutions (up 20% to Rs 317.10), Atul Auto (up 20% to Rs 83.85) Shriram Transport Finance Company (up 17.69% to Rs 226.85) edged higher.

Chembond Chemicals (down 11.04% to Rs 175.25) and Ritesh Properties and Industries (down 8.82% to Rs 53.25) and Alka Securities (down 7.95% to Rs 11.46) edged lower.

Sundram Fasteners rose 0.3% to Rs 49.85 after the company said its new unit near Chennai started production from 1 September 2007 and it made the first shipment to General Motors on 3 October 2007.

Wipro was up 4.18% to Rs 489.30 on reports the company is eyeing US-based Dell’s captive contact centre business outside the US.

KPIT Cummins Infosystems was up 0.88% to Rs 115.10 after it said it would consider preferential issue of shares to Cummins Inc at a price to be determined later.

Kilburn Engineering rose 0.67% to Rs 52.35, after it received orders worth Rs 5.90 crore from various companies for dryers and spares.

Patel Engineering was up 3.45% to Rs 490.75 on a buzz that the company is getting its land bank valued by global real estate advisors DTZ and Knight Frank.

Petron Engineering Construction rose 6.43% to Rs 285.45 after it secured a Rs 1.35 crore order for supplying chimney and other accessories to Moser Baer India.

IVRCL Infrastructures & Projects rose 6.69% to Rs 440.25 after it announced today, 9 October 2007, it has secured lift irrigation contract worth Rs 761.24 crore from Irrigation & CAD Department, government of Andhra Pradesh.

Prism Cement rose 4.56% to Rs 63, after it announced today, 9 October 2007, its net profit rose 134.04% to Rs 51.84 crore in Q1 September 2007 over Q1 September 2006.

Jyoti rose 5.11% to Rs 131.70, after it announced today, 9 October 2007, its net profit rose 429.55% to Rs 2.33 crore in Q2 September 2007 over Q2 September 2006.

GAIL (India) moved up 5.69% to Rs 385.25 after its Chairman U.D. Choubey today said the board of the company would take a decision on a bonus issue within six months.

European markets were trading mixed. They had earlier opened in the red. France's CAC was up 0.18% to 5,839.87. UK's FTSE 100 was up 0.88% to 6,598.40. Germany's DAX was up 0.14% at 7,985.71.

Most of the Asian markets, which opened before the Indian markets, were trading in green today. Taiwan's Taiwan Weighted index (down 0.8% to 9,639.83) edged lower. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (up 1.65% to 28,228.04), Singapore’s Straits Times (up 1.19% to 3,865.75), Korea’s Seoul Composite (up 0.07% to 2,014.13) and Japan's Nikkei (up 0.56% at 17,159.90) edged higher.

Q2 September 2007 results are the next major trigger for the market. Figures of advance tax suggest that earnings will be decent to strong. IT bellwether Infosys Technologies kickstarts reporting season on Thursday, 11 October 2007.

Trading Calls

Nifty (5085) Sup 5014 Res 5142

Buy Sintex Ind (370) SL 365 Target 380, 382

Buy HCL Tech (308) SL 303
Target 315, 318

Sell IDFC (147) SL 151
Target 140, 139

Sell Crompton Greaves (328) SL 333 Target 319, 316

Sell Voltas (161) SL 165
Target 155, 153

Elections! protect yourself

Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich by promising to protect each from the other

With the Congress and the Left toughening their respective stance and the last ditch effort by Sonia Gandhi failing to elicit any positive response from Prakash Karat & Co., the country is likely to be headed for mid-term polls sometime in the first half of next year. If the Government goes ahead and holds talks with the IAEA, the Communists are most likely to withdraw their support. So, there is only one way this coalition regime can complete its full term i.e. if the Centre decides to defer negotiations with the IAEA. But, after Sonia Gandhi's strong remarks on Sunday, this scenario looks difficult. The next few days are going to be critical. While the initial flow of words in the market will be directed at results, post that we will have expectations of the budget. If elections are around the corner, a populist budget for the masses is what may lie ahead. Who knows, a number of popular moves could be seen even before budget day.

This is not good for the bulls, who were eager to push the Sensex past the 18k mark. The movement in the market in the next few days will hinge on the statements emanating from Congress and Left leaders. So, brace yourself for lots of volatility in the near term. The quarterly results and global events like the BOJ meeting this week and the Fed meeting later in the month will also have a bearing on the market. Today, we see a cautious to weak opening as global trend, barring a few markets like Brazil and Japan, is generally down. A wait and watch approach is the best strategy one can adopt at this stage.

DS Kulkarni Developers' Board of Directors will meet today to approve the merger between the company and Oyster Promoters & Developers.

Prime Securities, Prism Cement, S Kumars Nationwide and Vikas WSP will announce their results today.

ICICI Bank could be in the limelight after the country's largest private bank received Reserve Bank of India’s approval for establishing new branches and additional off-site ATMs.

Nitco Tiles is planning to double capacity in at its ceramic tile plant in Alibaug. The company plans a capex of Rs800mn to double its capacity up to 24,000 a day from the existing 13,500

US stocks fell for the first time in three days, led by oil producers and miners, on concern that a slowing economy will reduce demand for energy and metals. Also, investors were cautious after last week's rally and ahead of the start of the quarterly earnings reporting period.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 5 points, or 0.3%, to 1,552.58, retreating from a record. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 22 points, or 0.2%, to 14,043.73. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 7 points, or 0.3%, to 2,787.37.

Trading volume was pretty light and the treasury bond market was closed due to the Columbus Day holiday. The New York Stock Exchange had its slowest full-day session of the year with 852.3mn shares changing hands.

US light crude for November delivery fell $2.20 or 2.7% to settle at $79.02 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In currency trading, the dollar rose against other major currencies. The rising dollar sent gold and other dollar-traded commodities lower. COMEX gold for December delivery fell $8.50 to settle at $738.70 an ounce.

After the close of trade, Sprint Nextel said its CEO Gary Forsee was stepping down, effective immediately.

European shares ended lower on Monday, with SAP among the leading decliners after the German technology giant said its $6.8bn purchase of Business Objects would hurt earnings next year.

The pan-European Dow Jones Stoxx 600 index declined 0.2% to 386, with technology and resource shares under pressure. The UK's FTSE 100 fell 0.8% to 6,540.90, the German DAX 30 lost 0.4% to 7,974.37 and the French CAC-40 slipped 0.2% to 5,829.40.

Major Latin American markets ended higher on Monday, with Brazilian stocks finishing at a record closing level and Mexican stocks reversing losses after a credit upgrade by S &P.

Brazil's Bovespa rose 0.6% to end at 62,660.85. Just a week ago, the index marked its first close above 62,000. In Mexico, the IPC index finished up 0.9% at 31,825.51.

Chile's IPSA index closed nearly flat at 3,360.16. Argentina's Merval index reversed course to end 9 points higher at 2,286.71.

In the other emerging markets, the RTS index in Russia was up 0.7% at 2130 while the ISE National-30 index in Turkey was down over 1% at 71,488.

Asian markets were trading mixed this morning. The Nikkei in Tokyo was up 157 points at 17,222 while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell by 218 points to 27,552. The Straits Times in Singapore gained 7 points at 3827 and the Kospi in Seoul dropped 16 points to 1996.

The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia-Pacific Index rose 0.5% to 166.55 as of 10:28 a.m. in Tokyo, set to exceed its Oct. 3 record close of 166.41. Barring energy and materials, all the other indices in the benchmark's 10 industry groups, fell in step with crude oil and metals prices.

Developers Mitsui Fudosan and Mitsubishi Estate advanced on speculation that the Bank of Japan will leave its key interest rate unchanged at a meeting this week.

Benchmarks in other Asian markets open for trading advanced, except for New Zealand.

Wait and watch

Political uncertainties, coupled with weak cues from the Asian and the European markets and all round selling in scrip’s across the sectors dragged the key indices to register its biggest fall in seven weeks. After hitting a low of 17,322 benchmark index managed to recover over 150 points on back of IT stocks finally to close at 17,491 losing 212 points and NSE Nifty slipped 100 points to close at 5,085.

Among the BSE sectoral indices, BSE Metal index (down 3.7%), BSE PSU index (down 3.7%) and BSE Realty index (down 3. 6%). Even the broader indices were under pressure. The BSE Mid-Cap and the Small-Cap indexes lost over 3% each. However, IT index was the only gainer 0.63%.

Among the 30-scrip’s of Sensex, twenty three stocks ended in red. However, seven stocks ended in positive territory. Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, SBI and L&T were among the major losers. On the other hand, Satyam, BHEL, Infosys and Wipro were among the major gainers.

DLF slipped 1.5% to Rs839. The country's largest developer, would be added to the benchmark while Dr. Reddy's Laboratories India's biggest drugmaker, will be removed. The changes will take effect November 19. The scrip touched an intra-day high of Rs875 and a low of Rs800 and recorded volumes of over 18,00,000 shares on NSE.

EKC dropped by over 3.5% to Rs229. The company announced that they would sell shares to TVG India, CLSA private equity. The scrip touched an intra-day high of Rs240 and a low of Rs225 and recorded volumes of over 2,00,000 shares on NSE.

Patni Computer surged by over 4.5% to Rs479. The Indian software developer announced that two of its directors G.K. Patni and A.K. Patni would be re-designated as `founder directors'' and cease being executive directors of the company effective Oct. 1. The scrip touched an intra-day high of Rs485 and a low of Rs465 and recorded volumes of over 19,00,000 shares on NSE.

SBI slipped 4% to Rs1781. According to reports India's largest lender may raise Rs100bn after the government sells a stake in the lender. The scrip touched an intra-day high of Rs1888 and a low of Rs1755 and recorded volumes of over 1,00,000 shares on NSE.

Raj Tele lost 4.8% to Rs218 after the company announced that they have secured approval to start 24x7 news channel. The scrip touched an intra-day high of Rs235 and a low of Rs217 and recorded volumes of over 1,00,000 shares on NSE.

IT index was the only gainer, the index gained 0.63% despite India's rupee gained, trading near the highest in more than nine years. Satyam Computer advanced by 2.6% to Rs455, TCS was up by 1% to Rs1078 and Infosys added 1% to Rs2003.

Realty stocks were badly beaten up led by fall in the index heavyweight, Unitech, the scrip dropped by over 5.5% to Rs309, Parsvnath dropped 4.5% to Rs348, DLF was down 1.5% to Rs839 and Akruti declined 4.6% to Rs737.

Auto stocks also were on the receiving end. According to reports, India is considering cutting the excise duty on large cars to 16% from 24% to boost sales and counter the impact of rising interest rates. M&M dropped 3% to Rs726, Maruti was down by 1% to Rs1025 and Tata Motors slipped 2% to Rs764.

Profit booking was also witnessed in the Banking stocks. SBI declined by over 4% to Rs1781, ICICI Bank fell 1.5% to Rs1021 and PNB dropped 3.5% to Rs505. However, HDFC Bank edged higher by 0.3% to Rs1407.

Stocks in News:

Reliance Retail has bagged an exclusive marketing and distribution deal with Apple for standalone iStores.

Reliance Industries has sought a three year drilling holiday from exploring nine NELP fields due to shortage of drilling rigs.

ICICI Bank has received approval from the RBI for setting up of 425 branches and 2,500 ATMs.

HDFC has hiked its stake in its asset management JV with Standard Life by 10% for a sum of Rs1.8bn.

Tata Steel will raise Rs96.5bn via rights issue in the ratio of one for every five shares at a price of Rs300 per share.

Tata Steel plans to raise Rs54.8bn through issue of convertible preference shares to partly finance its Corus acquisition.

Accenture and Wipro are in the race for acquiring non-US BPO business of Dell.

Dr Reddy Laboratories is planning to launch its biosimilar drugs in Europe by 2010.

JSW group is foraying into cement business by setting up two plants in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh with a combined capacity of 3mn tons and investment of Rs12bn.

BHEL has bagged an Rs3.9bn order from Rashtriya Ispat Nigam for expansion of its power plant.

Praj Industries is setting up a fully integrated ethanol production plant for Tata Chemicals at Nanded.

Praj Industries has inked an agreement with the Department of Agriculture, Philippines to promote energy crops and technology for production of biofuels.

Dish TV is planning to raise Rs11bn through a combination of debt and equity.

Suzlon Energy has won a contract for 400-MW turbine with a US company.

UCO Bank is planning a follow-on public offer to raise Rs2-2.5bn in H1 CY08 and also plans to raise Rs2bn in tier-II bonds by March 2008.

Sintex Industries is close to acquiring composites business in Europe or US for ~US$120mn likely to be announced in November.

Nippon Steel may pick up a 10% stake in Gangotri Iron and Steel Co through a preferential issue at Rs80-85 per share.

Vodafone plans to invest US$2bn annually in India to expand its mobile services.

As per a policy drafted by the Rural Development Ministry, developers of SEZs may have to return 10% of the land acquired from farmers after development.

According to the Commerce Department, exports from the country for FY08 could fall short of the annual target by US$20bn at US$140bn.

M&A norms for the telecom industry are likely to be tightened so that the market share of operators post merger or acquisition does not exceed 30%.

The Government may cut duties to avoid petrol price hike.

Fund Activity:

FIIs were net buyers of Rs14.6bn (provisional) in the cash segment on Monday while the local institutions pulled out Rs1.43bn. In the F&O segment, foreign funds were net sellers at Rs13.05bn.

FII and Mutual Fund data for Friday's session is not yet available from market regulator SEBI.

Major Bulk Deals:

Kotak Mahindra Investments has bought Autoline Industries; Goldman Sachs has sold Mangalore Chemicals; Morgan Stanley has picked up Mercator Lines; Deutsche Securities has purchased S Kumars Nationwide while Deutsche Bank has sold the stock; Morgan Stanley has bought Vakrangee Software.

Upper Circuit:

RIIL, Usher Agro, Victoria mills and Jai Corp

Lower Circuit:

Ruby Mills, Karutari Networks, Silverline Technologies, Prakash Industries and Tanla

Crude slips below $80

Crude futures drop on inventory build up speculation

Crude oil futures fell today and closed below $80/barel. Prices fell as dollar strengthened against its rival currencies and traders speculated that upcoming weekly inventory report will show build up in crude supplies for week ended 5 October, 2007.

For the day ending Monday, 8 October, 2007, crude-oil futures for light sweet crude for November delivery closed at $79.02/barrel (lower by $2.2/barrel or 2.71%) on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract touched $78.35 during the session, the lowest intraday price since mid September.

The dollar index rose 0.6% today against euro.

Brent crude oil for November settlement fell $2.32 (2.9%) to $76.58 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

OPEC has said previously that a falling dollar justified higher prices because oil- producing countries sell crude oil in dollars and often buy goods in euros.

The energy department is scheduled to release its weekly report on inventories on 11 October in Washington, a day later than usual because of today's Columbus Day holiday.

Natural gas, gasoline and heating oil - all fall

Natural gas in New York declined, following crude oil, as traders who bought contracts on bets prices would rise sold them to protect gains or limit losses. Gas for November delivery fell 22.7 cents (3.2%) to settle at $6.846 per million British thermal units.

Against this backdrop, November reformulated gasoline fell 4.91 cents to $2.0002 a gallon and November heating oil lost 6.39 cents to $2.1596 a gallon.

At the MCX, crude oil for October delivery closed at Rs 3111/barrel, lower by Rs 75 (2.3%) against previous day’s close. Natural gas closed at Rs 273.3/mmtbu as against previous close of Rs 279.6/mmtbu.

OPEC planned to boost daily oil production by 500,000 barrels. OPEC's production target is 27.2 million barrels a day, beginning 1 Nov. OPEC, has decided to raise their daily output by 500,000 barrels per day, starting 1 November.

Attacks on oil facilities in Nigeria have curtailed shipments and tight supplies from OPEC have bolstered crude prices this year. As per the U.S. Energy Information Administration, tight global energy supplies are expected to keep energy prices high through 2008.

US Market closes mixed with crude prices slipping

Technology sector remains the sole gainer for the day with support from Apple, Google and RIMM

It was a good day for Technology stocks today, 8 October, 2007 with Google crossing the $600 mark for the first time and closing at a record high. Weakness in crude oil and gold prices with the dollar strengthening partly against euro led US stocks take a hint and slip lower. Market closed mixed with only Nasdaq gaining. Nine out of ten economic sectors posted losses today. Technology remained the sole winner.

The Dow Jones industrial Average closed lower by 22.28 points at 14,043.73. The Nasdaq Composite Index, finished higher by 7.07 points at 2,787.37. S&P 500 finished lower by 5.01 points at 1,552.58.

Twenty-four of thirty Dow stocks ended in red. H-P, Intel and IBM were three of the six Dow performers ending in green. Alcoa headed Dow’s decliners followed by Citigroup and Wal-Mart.

Trading was relatively quiet in light volume due to the Columbus Day holiday. Both U.S. government offices and the bond market were closed.

Apple, Research In Motion and Google provided leadership for the Nasdaq today. Energy stocks contributed to the maximum weakness, as the energy sector followed crude prices lower.

Google crosses the $600 mark and closes at an all time high

Market opened in the morning slightly lower. Barring utilities and technology, all the sectors were trading in the red.

Among deal related news, business software maker SAP has agreed to acquire rival Business Objects in a deal valued at $6.8 billion in cash.

Google gained 2.6% to $609.62 today and is up 6.5% this month and 31% this year.

Crude oil futures fell today and closed below $80/barel. Prices fell as dollar strengthened against its rival currencies and traders speculated that upcoming weekly inventory report will show build up in crude supplies for week ended 5 October, 2007.

Crude-oil futures for light sweet crude for November delivery closed at $79.02/barrel (lower by $2.2/barrel or 2.71%) on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract touched $78.35 during the session, the lowest intraday price since mid September. The dollar index rose 0.6% today against euro.

Volume on the New York Stock Exchange topped 851 million shares, with declining issues outpacing advancers more than 2 to 1. On the Nasdaq, nearly 1.5 billion shares exchanged hands and decliners topped advancers 4 to 3.

For tomorrow, investors will have minutes from the FOMC's 18 September meeting. Other than that, Alcoa will release its latest quarterly results after the market's close.

Latest Grey Market Premiums - Reliance Power and more!

Reliance Power - 35 to 36

Dhanus Tech 295 65 to 70

Koutons Retail 415 70 to 75

Consolidated Construction 510 185 to 190

Supreme Infra 108 50 to 55

Saamya Biotech 10 4 to 5

MAYTAS Infra 320 to 370 120 to 125

Circuit Systems (India) Ltd. 35 3 to 4

Dhanus Subscription Details - Update

QIB - 13.96 times

NII - 24.06 times

Retail - 14.77

Subscription figures after withdrawal option

Varun Shipping

Varun Shipping

ValueLine For October 2007

ValueLine For October 2007

Valueline - October 2007

Market gets propelled to fast track
Till recently most market experts had pegged the Indian stock market’s fair value at around 15,500-16,000 levels. But the latest policy initiative of the US Federal Reserve (Fed) has changed that perception and much more. On September 18, the Fed cut the key short-term interest rate by 50 basis points instead of 25 basis points as was widely expected. The effect of the surprise Fed action on our market was such that despite the re-emergence of concerns of a slowdown in the domestic economy, the market rallied by over 653 points the very next day, comfortably conquering the peak of 16,000 in the process. In another six days the market sprinted past the milestone of 17,000 as well, recording its fastest 1,000 ever. Incredibly, the euphoric rally triggered by the Fed’s rate cut continues till day and the Sensex is now within kissing distance of--hold your breath--18,000! We had always said that a rate cut in the USA would be an enormous positive for our markets, well, the recent performance of the market bears us out. Now, no target seems too lofty or far-fetched for the market anymore and there are even talks of it reaching as high as 20,000 by the year-end. We believe the market has got propelled to the fast track and is likely to scale newer heights in the days to come.

Global liquidity to dictate markets

We have seen a sustained one-way rise in our stock market after the US Federal Reserve (Fed) cut the key short-term rate on September 18, 2007. The Fed cut has boosted not just our market but the other emerging markets (EMs) as well. It seems that the US sub-prime concerns are a thing of the past. So what has suddenly changed that the EMs look more attractive than ever before? We feel there has been no change in the fundamentals. What has changed is the liquidity condition and the increased liquidity globally is expected to drive the EMs to a higher valuation orbit.

Sharekhan top picks

In the September 2007 issue, we had recommended the best 12 of our Stock Ideas as Sharekhan Top Picks. As on October 1, 2007, the basket of stocks has given an absolute return of 13% as compared with a 12.4% appreciation in the Sensex and a 13.2% rise in the S&P CNX Nifty.


BL Kashyap & Sons
Cluster: Emerging Star
Recommendation: Buy
Price target: Rs2,850
Current market price: Rs2,189

On a concrete footing

Key points

  • Poised to ride construction boom: With its proven execution skills, reasonably large-scale of operations and an established customer base, BL Kashyap & Sons (BLK) is well poised to ride the construction boom in the fast-growing industrial, residential, commercial and retail segments.
  • Relatively low risk strategy: Unlike most of its peers, BLK's strategy revolves around providing contractual construction services to private sector clients and it has consciously avoided exposure to long duration infrastructure projects that are prone to delays and are much more capital intensive. Thus, it does not require regular infusion of funds through debt or equity dilution.
  • To sustain growth momentum: Despite its strategy to stay away from the big-ticket infrastructure projects, BLK has shown a healthy CAGR of 72.6% in its stand-alone revenues to Rs808 crore over the past three years. What's more, the strong order backlog of Rs2,100 crore (2.6x FY2007 revenues) provides a robust revenue growth outlook for the coming years. We expect the stand-alone revenues to grow at a CAGR of 48.8% over FY2007-10.
  • Value in real estate subsidiary: BLK has forayed into real estate development through its subsidiary SSP, which undertakes joint development projects with the existing owners of land. Currently, it is executing six projects with saleable area of 13.2lsf (SSP's share of around 8.5lsf) and also has rights for around 150-acre land in Bikaner, Rajasthan. We have valued SSP at Rs580 crore.
  • Upside of 30% from current levels: BLK's stand-alone earnings are estimated to grow at a CAGR of over 48% over FY2007-10. More importantly, given the company's limited exposure to highly capital intensive infrastructure projects, there is limited risk of equity dilution. At the current market price the stock trades at attractive valuations of 12.8x FY2009E and 9.3x FY2010E earnings (after adjusting for the value of its subsidiary: Rs554 per share). We recommend a Buy call on BLK with a price target of Rs2,850.

Jindal Saw
Cluster: Emerging Star
Recommendation: Buy
Price target: Rs830
Current market price: Rs635

Opportunities in the pipeline

Key points

  • De-risked business model: Jindal Saw Ltd (JSL), the largest pipe manufacturer in the country, is expected to make the most of a huge opportunity in the pipe sector due a global surge in E&P activities and a strong domestic demand. JSL is present in almost all pipe segments, which makes it a de-risked and strong play on the booming Indian pipe sector.
  • Strong order book: It enjoys a strong order book of $700 million, ie almost 1.1x its FY2006 sales from Indian operations. Executable by May 2008 this strong order book and the buoyancy in the pipe industry provide good visibility to its future earnings.
  • Margin expansion: We expect a sharp improvement in the margins of JSL going forward due to the sell-off of its US business (which was less profitable), better product mix in favour of seamless and ductile iron pipes, and greater operating efficiencies. The OPM of the company is expected to improve from 10.6% in FY2006 to 15.2% in FY2009.
  • US sell-off positive: We regard the sell-off of the US operations as a positive for the company, since its lower margin was dragging the company's overall profitability. Moreover, JSL has been able to get a good price from the stake sale and the transaction would lead to a post-tax inflow of $275 million. The company would utilise part of this to repay some amount of debt and expand its capacity.
  • Attractive valuations: Considering its strong growth potential, strong improvement in its margin and the buoyancy in the pipe segment, we believe the stock is trading at very attractive valuations. We expect the profits of the company to grow at a CAGR of 40% over FY2006-09. At the current market price of Rs635, the stock is discounting its FY2009E earnings by 7.6x and is available at an EV/EBIDTA of 3.6x, which is lower than that of its peers. We, therefore, recommend a Buy on JSL with a price target of Rs830.


Aban Offshore
Cluster: Emerging Star
Recommendation: Buy
Price target: Rs3,765
Current market price: Rs3,165

Price target revised to Rs3,765
Aban Offshore has announced a contract for three of its jack-up rigs (Aban III, Aban IV and Aban V) with Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) for a period of three years. At the renewed day rate of US$156,600 the total value of the contract works out to around Rs2,000 crore.

Alphageo India
Cluster: Emerging Star
Recommendation: Buy
Price target: Rs517
Current market price: Rs416

Annual report review

Key points

  • In FY2007, Alphageo India’s (Alphageo) revenues increased by around 128% year on year (yoy) to Rs54.3 crore. The operating profit rose by 128% yoy to Rs25.5 crore as compared with Rs11.2 crore in FY2006. However, the operating profit margin (OPM) remained almost flat at 46.9% in FY2007. The net profit grew at 78.3% yoy to Rs7.5 crore.
  • The company witnessed a significant improvement in its project mix in FY2007, where the 3D projects made up around 77% of the total revenues as compared with around 44% in FY2006.
  • The company's order book as on April 30, 2007 stood at Rs117.1 crore, which is around 70% higher than that of Rs68.8 crore on April 30, 2006. Around 85% of the company's current order book comprises of 3D projects.
  • During the year, the company received a Rs58.4 crore contract from ONGC in the operational blocks of the Cauvery basin, Tamil Nadu. The contract will reduce company's excessive dependence on non-monsoon assignments.
  • The Company added one more 3D crew in FY2007. The crew strength of the company now stands at five of which three are 3D crew and two are 2D crew.
  • Alphageo is the largest private sector player with five crew (three 3D crew and two 2D crew) in operation for 2D and 3D seismic services. The company is well versed with almost all the terrains in the country, which makes the company one of the most experienced (private sector) players in the country to take the advantage of the ongoing boom in oil and gas exploration in the country. At the current market price of Rs416, the stock discounts its FY2009E earnings by 8.0x and is available at enterprise value (EV)/earnings before interest, depreciation, tax and amortisation (EBIDTA) of 4.0x. We maintain our Buy recommendation on the stock with a price target of Rs517.

Ashok Leyland
Cluster: Ugly Duckling
Recommendation: Hold
Price target: Rs42
Current market price: Rs39

Decline continues

Key points

  • Ashok Leyland's total vehicle sales during August 2007 declined by 6.6% to 6,055 units as against 6,483 units in the same month a year ago. The sales in the domestic market declined by 3.2%, whereas the export sales were substantially down by 31% for the month. On a month-on-month basis the total sales grew by 8.6%, which can be attributed to higher sales of passenger and light commercial vehicles.
  • The passenger/bus segment grew by 61% to 2,220 vehicles. The domestic passenger vehicle sales rose by 81% to 1,832 units on the back of orders from various State Transport Corporations, mainly the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation. These orders are expected to continue for one more month.
  • The truck sales declined by 25% to 3,794 vehicles. The domestic truck sales declined by 22% year on year (yoy) to 3,656 vehicles, while the truck exports declined by 67% to 138 vehicles.
  • The company under performed the industry during the month as its sales declined higher than that of the industry.
  • For the full year, the company expects the commercial vehicle industry to grow by 5-6%. We estimate that the overall volumes for the company will decline by 4.7% in the current year but to grow by 13% the next year.
  • The capital expenditure for FY2008 has been doubled to Rs1,000 crore and is expected to restrict the profit after tax (PAT) growth. We remain very cautious on industry's prospects considering weak freight rates, low freight availability due to seasonal factors, reduced auto loan disbursals by financiers and increase in the instances of delinquencies. Consequently, we are maintaining Hold on the stock.

Bajaj Auto
Cluster: Apple Green
Recommendation: Buy
Price target: Rs2,550
Current market price: Rs2,393

XCD launch to improve margins
Bajaj Auto Ltd (BAL) expects its overall margin to rise in the second quarter of FY2008 on the back of sales of XCD, the recently launched 125cc motorcycle, and the closure of the Akurdi plant.

Bank of India
Cluster: Apple Green
Recommendation: Buy
Price target: Rs325
Current market price: Rs260

Price target revised to Rs325

Key points

  • Bank of India (BoI) is considering diluting 5% of the government's stake in it. At present, the government holds 69.5% stake in the bank.
  • A 5% reduction in the government's stake would result in an issue of 3.8 crore shares equivalent to 7.8% of the existing equity base of 48.8 crore shares which would help the bank to raise around Rs1,000 crore.
  • The bank is weighing the option of raising resources through both the follow-on public offer (FPO) option and the qualified institutional placement (QIP) route but prefers the latter since it could be faster and cost effective.
  • If the bank goes ahead with the QIP offering, it will be the first public sector bank (PSB) to do so. We feel the QIP route would make more sense, considering the small dilution plans of the bank. It would also help the bank to fetch much better pricing than it would normally get if it adopts the FPO route.

Bharat Electronics
Cluster: Apple Green
Recommendation: Buy
Price target: Rs1,975
Current market price: Rs1,775

Annual report review

Key points

  • Gross sales of Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) grew by 11.8% in FY2007 on the back of a healthy growth in the civilian segment whereas the defence business remained stagnant during the year. The earnings growth of 23.2% was aided by a jump of 65.6% in the other income component and a decline in the interest outgo. In terms of balance sheet, the huge jump in the sundry debtors resulted in a lower than expected growth in the free cash on its books.
  • The order backlog at the beginning of the year stood at a record level of Rs9,130 crore of which Rs3,969 crore is executable in the current fiscal. The company has agreed to a revenue target of Rs4,725 crore for FY2008.
  • BEL is gearing itself to meet the increasing competition through the roll-out of new products (leveraging its research capabilities) and tie-ups with suitable partners (domestic and foreign vendors). During the year, the company signed agreements with leading global defence vendors including Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and CASA.
  • At the current market price the stock trades at 13.7x FY2008 and 11.2x FY2009 earnings estimates (adjusted for the estimated free cash on its books). We maintain our Buy call on the stock with a price target of Rs1,975.

Bharat Heavy Electricals
Cluster: Apple Green
Recommendation: Buy
Price target: Rs1,954
Current market price: Rs1,910

Annual report review

Key points

  • Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) had a splendid FY2007, registering a 29% growth in its revenues to Rs18,739 crore and a 44% increase in its net earnings to Rs2,414.7 crore. The operating profit margin (OPM) expanded marginally (by 60 basis points) to 19.1%.
  • The power business registered a healthy growth of 28% in its revenues while the industrial business recorded a rise of 32% in its revenues during the year.
  • It was a remarkable year for BHEL in terms of order inflow, which grew at 88.2% year on year (yoy) to Rs35,643 crore. Consequently, the order backlog at the end of the year stood at Rs55,000 crore.
  • BHEL's cash pile stood at a huge Rs5,808 crore at the end of FY2007, thanks to reduced working capital requirement and lower capital expenditure during the year.
  • The company has crafted a "Strategic plan 2012" targeting a turnover of $10 billion by 2012 vs $4 billion at present.
  • In our view, the government's focus on increasing power generation in order to meet its mission of providing "power for all by 2012" would be one of the key catalysts for BHEL's order inflows, providing clear visibility to the company's earnings.
  • We believe in future, the execution capability is going to be a key differentiating factor in this business and BHEL, which is a large player, will be better placed to secure the best orders in the industry. Hence, we remain bullish on the stock and reiterate our Buy recommendation with a price target of Rs1,954. At the current market price Rs1,910 the stock is trading at 30.4x its FY2008E earnings and 24.4x its FY2009E earnings.

Elder Pharmaceuticals
Cluster: Apple Green
Recommendation: Buy
Price target: Rs508
Current market price: Rs399

Biomeda acquisition to be earnings accretive from FY2009

Key points

  • Elder Pharmaceuticals (Elder) has acquired a 51% stake in Biomeda Group in Bulgaria for 5 million euros (around Rs28 crore) in an all-cash deal.
  • Biomeda is among Bulgaria's top ten oral dosage formulation manufacturer and distributor. The manufacturing division of the company includes a manufacturing facility to produce oral formulations and hard gelatin capsules. The company imports products from the global players and distributes them to clients all across the European Union through its warehouses.
  • In line with its strategy to expand its global footprint, Elder's acquisition of a 51% stake in Bulgaria's Biomeda group is expected to provide it with an entry point into the European markets. With Biomeda's stable of nine products and its strong relationships with global pharmaceutical companies, Elder hopes to grow the existing business of Biomeda at an annual rate of 15-20% in the next two-three years. Further, Elder is also planning to introduce products from its own portfolio into Bulgaria and the other European countries through Biomeda.
  • We believe that through the introduction of Elder's products into the Bulgarian and other key European markets, Biomeda's sales will grow by 20% to 12 million euros in CY2008/FY2009 and by 50% to 18 million euros in CY2009/FY2010. Further, cheaper sourcing of the raw materials and rationalisation of operating costs will improve Biomeda's margins from the current level of 8-10% to 12% in the next three years. Our back-of-the-envelope calculations indicate that after minority interest, the Biomeda acquisition will dilute Elder's earnings by Rs0.06 per share in FY2008, but add Rs0.8 per share in FY2009 and Rs2.3 per share in FY2010.
  • At the current market price of Rs399, Elder is quoting at 9.9x its estimated FY2008 earnings and at 8.8x its estimated FY2009 earnings. We maintain our Buy recommendation on the stock with a price target of Rs508.

Esab India
Cluster: Vulture’s Pick
Recommendation: Buy
Price target: Rs575
Current market price: Rs470

Subdued response to open offer

Key points

  • ESAB India's parent company had made an open offer to the shareholders of ESAB India for acquiring 58.01 lakh equity shares, which amounted to 37.69% of the equity share capital, at the rate of Rs505 per share.
  • The shareholder response to the offer was lukewarm as only 28.09 lakh equity shares were tendered during the offer period. This shows high confidence in the company by its existing shareholders.
  • Post offer, the shareholding of the parent company increased to 55.56% as against 37.31% prior to the offer. Consequently, public shareholding decreased from 62.69% to 44.44%.
  • After conclusion of the offer, the parent company wanted to hold 75% of the equity capital however, a subdued response to the offer is a testimony to the growing confidence of the existing shareholders in the company. ESAB India has recently expanded its product range and capacities indicating the management's confidence in the increasing demand for the company's products. The company has also reported a spectacular growth in both its revenues and earnings in the first half of CY2007.
  • We expect order inflows and robust product demand to continue for the company owing to planned investment in core infrastructure sectors like roads, ports, airports and construction in India.

Genus Power Infrastructures
Cluster: Ugly Duckling
Recommendation: Buy
Price target: Under review
Current market price: Rs599

Issue of warrants to meet working capital needs

Key points

  • Genus Power Infrastructures (Genus) has issued 1,500,000 equity shares of Rs10 each on a preferential basis at a price of Rs560, aggregating to Rs84 crore.
  • The company had earlier issued 1,000,000 convertible warrants, convertible into an equivalent number of equity shares of Rs10 each at Rs409 each and another 600,000 convertible warrants convertible at Rs342.50 each.
  • According to our estimates, the issue of warrants would dilute the equity base to the extent of 12.13% from the current levels.
  • The company would use the proceeds from the issue to fund its working capital requirements.
  • The company recently also launched RFID-based contact-less smart card pre-paid meters. The pilot project for the technology has already started in India and the product has already been approved by the Brazilian utilities.

Hindustan Unilever
Cluster: Apple Green
Recommendation: Buy
Price target: Rs280
Current market price: Rs218

Regaining pricing power

Key points

  • Rising input prices have been a concern for the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry for quite some time now. In the past quarters the FMCG companies were able to combat this issue with price hikes, innovative products with higher realisations and prudent advertising spend. Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) was also able to pass on the pressure of the rising raw material prices to consumers by effecting a price hike in the soap, shampoo, skin and oral care product categories.
  • According to industry data, the market share of most of the segments has improved except for the personal wash segment, which is showing a declining trend. Though the premium segment in soaps continues to garner market share, it is the lower-end segment that is losing market share, which we believe is positive for the margins. The segments that have shown an improvement in the market share compared with the June quarter of CY2007 are laundry (+50 basis points), shampoo (+20 basis points), skin care (+10 basis points), tea (90 basis points) and coffee (+110 basis points).
  • On a sequential basis, we expect HUL's advertising spend to go up with aggressive spending in categories like skin care products and shampoos where the company is facing fierce competition from Proctor and Gamble (P&G; P&G's Olay launched against HUL's Pond’s Age Miracle recently). In the shampoo segment, the entry of ITC has further intensified the competition. Moreover, our channel checks reveal that P&G is planning to launch skin care products for the mass segment which could further add to the competition.
  • Buy back of shares at Rs230 per share and below will act as a support for the stock price. The buy back is commencing from October 03, 2007.
  • This is not the first time in the year that HUL has increased the prices of its products. The price increase vindicates our view that the company is regaining its pricing power, which coupled with the strong volume growth, should help it report a good growth in its earnings. At the current market price of Rs218, the stock is quoting at 25.6x its CY2007E earnings per share (EPS) of Rs8.5 and 22.8x its CY2008E EPS of Rs9.6. We maintain our Buy recommendation on the stock with a price target of Rs280.

India Cements
Cluster: Ugly Duckling
Recommendation: Buy
Price target: Rs300
Current market price: Rs263

Price target revised to Rs300

Key points

  • With a revised capital expenditure (capex) plan of 14 million metric tonne (MMT) by the end of FY2009, India Cements will emerge as one of the top five cement players in India in terms of capacity. The company will witness a robust volume growth of 23% over FY2007-09.
  • South India is expected to witness a strong cement demand in the next couple of years due to heightened industrial activity and upcoming government projects.
  • The company received the Madras High Court's approval for merger of Visaka Cements in Q1FY2008.
  • For Q1FY2008, the combined turnover of the company stood at Rs701 crore. The turnover was much in line with our expectations. Backed by higher realisations, the operating profit margin (OPM) improved by 400 basis points year on year (yoy) to 38%, whereas the earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) per tonne stood at Rs1,150. Consequently, the profit before tax (PBT) stood higher at Rs215 crore beating our expectation of Rs200 crore for the same.
  • In the last couple of months, the cement retail price have touched Rs280 per bag in certain regions and the dealers expect it to touch Rs300 per bag in the coming months. Considering the rise in prices, we are upgrading our estimates by 33.9% for FY2008 and 32.5% for FY2009.
  • The company's strategy of augmenting its capacity through the brownfield route at a lower capital cost will enhance the company’s return on capital employed (RoCE) going forward. The Lower capital cost coupled with higher profitability will put the company's financials in an enviable position.
  • Healthy financials, a leadership position in the South and a lower promoter stake make the company a potential target for acquisition. Whether the promoters will sell their stake is a question that time will answer but in case that happens we believe the acquirer will have to pay a hefty premium to the company as it will directly make them the market leader in the South.
  • We expect the earnings of the company to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27% over FY2007-09 on an enhanced equity capital of Rs260 crore. At the current market price of Rs263, the stock is currently trading at 9.5x its FY2009E earnings per share (EPS) and at an enterprise value (EV)/EBITDA of 5.1x. Considering all these aspects, we maintain our positive outlook on the stock with a revised price target of Rs300.

International Combustion (India)
Cluster: Cannonball
Recommendation: Buy
Price target: Rs519
Current market price: Rs391

Sharp increase in margins

Result highlights

  • The revenues of International Combustion India Ltd (ICIL) grew by 27.2% year on year (yoy) to Rs20.2 crore in Q1FY2008. The revenue growth was in line with our estimates.
  • The revenues of the Heavy Engineering Division (HED) of the company grew by 18.9% yoy to Rs16.5 crore. The Geared Motor and Geared Box Division's (GMGBD) revenues rose by an impressive 78.9% yoy to Rs3.8 crore.
  • The operating profit margin (OPM) expanded by 560 basis point yoy to 24%. The OPM rise was due to a reduced raw material cost to sales ratio, which declined by 380 basis points to 46.8% in Q1FY2008. The staff cost to sales ratio and the other expenses to sales ratio both saw a decline of 90 basis points yoy.
  • The HED reported a profit before interest and tax (PBIT) margin of 38.4%, which was up 670 basis points yoy. The GMGBD, which incurred a loss in the corresponding quarter last year reported a PBIT margin of 1.3% for this quarter.
  • The net profit jumped by a whopping 104.4% yoy to Rs2.8 crore led by a higher other income and robust expansion of margins. The profit after tax (PAT) margin for the quarter was 13.9%.
  • The outstanding order book of the company at the end of July 2007 was Rs64 crore. The HED has an order backlog of Rs52 crore while the GMGBD has pending orders worth Rs12 crore.
  • The company plans a capital expenditure (capex) of Rs8 crore in FY2008 towards capacity addition in the HED and the GMGBD to meet the rising demand for its products.

Cluster: Apple Green
Recommendation: Buy
Price target: Rs200
Current market price: Rs184

Breaking new grounds

Key points

  • Despite the imposition of a 12.5% value-added tax (VAT), an increase of 5% in the excise duty and a levy of 32.5% trade tax in Uttar Pradesh, there had been only a marginal decline in the cigarette volumes of ITC in the first quarter. Our channel checks reveal that the second quarter is expected to witness a trailing effect of the same since this quarter would also bear the full effect of the 32.5% sales tax levied by the Uttar Pradesh state government.
  • ITC launched Fiama Di Wills, a premium range of shampoos, in three variants. The product has been priced between Hindustan Unilever's Sunsilk and Procter and Gamble's Pantene. Looking at the success rate of its newly launched products, we believe the company would be able to establish itself in the soaps & skincare segment also.
  • The salted snacks business Bingo is also doing well. The product has been rolled out in all the 10-lakh-plus population markets and by leveraging on the company's vast distribution network it has been able to capture 10-12% share in these markets.
  • Biscuits category, which is growing at a scorching pace of 40-50% year on year, though at a lower base, against the industry growth of 10-12%. In a very short span, the company had been able to garner a market share of 11%, which speaks volumes about its potential to create market positions in new segments.
  • At the current market price of Rs184, the stock is attractively quoting at 23.2x its FY2008E earnings per share and 14.8x FY2008E enterprise value (EV)/earnings before interest, depreciation, tax and amortisation (EBIDTA). We maintain our Buy recommendation on ITC with a price target of Rs200.

Madras Cement
Cluster: Cannonball
Recommendation: Buy
Price target: Under review
Current market price: Rs4,082

A buyback in the offing
Madras Cement has announced at its extraordinary general meeting held on September 14 that subject to provisions of the Companies Act 1956, the company may buy back its own shares. The details of the buy-back proposal have not been disclosed yet.

Cluster: Apple Green
Recommendation: Buy
Price target: Rs70
Current market price: Rs61

Growth momentum continues
The copra prices have strengthened in the last two months but Marico has taken a price hike of 3% in Parachute, which will offset the increase in its raw material cost and help it to safeguard its margin. The company has been able to maintain its market share at 48%. The launch of Fortune (agro tech foods) has been a non-event for Marico since the same has not been able to erode its market share.

Marksans Pharma
Cluster: Emerging Star
Recommendation: Book Out
Current market price: Rs98

Book out

Key points

  • Marksans Pharma's (Marksans) performance in FY2007 has been extremely disappointing. The company's revenues declined by 17% whereas its profits plunged by a massive 56% to Rs9.9 crore. The company has reported poor revenues in all segments of its business. Sales of bulk drugs have decreased by 35.8% year on year (yoy), led by the decline in bulk drug sales in domestic and export markets, whereas the sales of formulations remained flat at Rs136 crore in FY2007.
  • Ciprofloxacin and Ranitidine form the mainstay of Marksans' bulk business. With increasing commoditisation and competition from Chinese players, the prices for Ciprofloxacin bulk and Ranitidine bulk have fallen by approximately 28% each in the last one year, leading to a decline in the realisations. Due to this, the company's bulk business has plunged by almost 36% in FY2007 and 42% in Q1FY2008. The uncertainty over the future prices of these bulk drugs is a cause for concern and makes Marksans' bulk business unpredictable.
  • Against Rs100 crore worth of orders for the CRAMS business for FY2007, Marksans has only executed Rs52 crore. This was primarily due to a delay in obtaining regulatory approvals for its filings and site variation applications. Marksans has made four certificate of suitability (COS) filings so far for Ciprofloxacin, Ranitidine, Metformin and Losartan. Our growth assumptions for the export business were based on the company receiving these COS approvals and launching these products in FY2007. However, the company has not yet received any of the COS approvals and there seems to be no clarity on the timeline of these approvals. We do not expect a major ramp-up in the company's CRAMS business until the regulatory approvals come through.
  • Marksans had raised $50 million in November 2005 through a foreign currency convertible bond (FCCB) issue, primarily to fund acquisitions. Even though the redemption date for the FCCBs is distant--in November 2010--yet the conversion price of each bond into an equity share stands at Rs336.92, which is almost three times the current market price of Rs98 per share. Further, if the bonds are not converted into equity shares by November 2010, Marksans will have to redeem the bonds at 145.2% of their principal amount. We believe the risk of non-conversion and the resultant burden of the redemption premium are causing Marksans to retain the FCCB money as cash instead of deploying it for acquisitions.
  • Despite giving repeated promises and timelines, the management has not been able to deliver on several counts, ranging from growth in the domestic market, to execution of the CRAMS orders and approval of regulatory filings. The company seems to be in an investment phase, planning for its future growth in the domestic market and its foray into newer markets such as South Africa, Europe and the USA. At the current price of Rs98.0, the stock is trading at 52x its FY2007 consolidated earnings. In view of the disappointing performance in FY2007 and the uncertain outlook on the future prospects of the company, we advise investors to book out of the stock.

Navneet Publications (India)
Cluster: Emerging Star
Recommendation: Hold
Price target: Under review
Current market price: Rs77

e-learning: new initiative
Navneet Publications has ventured into a new stream of business, e-learning. The company has launched a new product called "Navneet e-Book", a system of e-learning which is an animated content of the textbooks for effective understanding of concepts. It has already started receiving enquiries from schools of Gujarat and Maharashtra.

The company is initially planning to target private schools in the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. For the other states the company has started mapping their curriculum. It has already introduced products at the distributor level to be supplied to schools. After establishing the efficacy of its products in the schools, it intends to target the students.

Nicholas Piramal India
Cluster: Apple Green
Recommendation: Buy
Price target: Rs326
Current market price: Rs288

Demerger of discovery R&D to unlock value

Key points

  • Nicholas Piramal India Ltd (NPIL) has announced the demerger of its new chemical entity (NCE) research into a separate company called Nicholas Piramal Research Company (NPRC). The proposed demerger would be effective from April 1, 2007 and the new company will be listed on the bourses by June 2008.
  • With a focus on the therapeutic segments of oncology, diabetes, inflammation and infectious diseases, NPIL has a pipeline of 13 molecules, including one molecule in-licensed from Eli Lilly for clinical development. Of the 13 molecules, nine molecules (including the one in-licensed from Eli Lilly) are in pre-clinical development stage, whereas the remaining four molecules are in Phase II clinical trials. Further, four more molecules are scheduled to enter the clinics by the end of FY2008, which would make NPIL one of the largest clinical development pipelines among the Indian players.
  • As a part of the demerger plan, NPIL will initially invest Rs4.55 crore as equity capital in the new company (NPRC). It will also transfer Rs90 crore worth of fixed assets (as per book value) and Rs95 crore of cash to the new company. In consideration, NPIL will issue one new share of face value Rs10 each in the new company to all its shareholders for every ten shares of face value Rs2 each held in NPIL (ie in the ratio of 1:10).
  • With the proposed demerger, the managament has revised its guidance for FY2008. Even though the top line growth guidance has been maintained at 25%, the operating profit margin (OPM) is expected to expand to 17.7% (as against the earlier guidance of 15.5%) on the back of a Rs70 crore savings in the research and development (R&D) expenses. The capital expenditure (capex) is also expected to come down to Rs150 crore versus the earlier guidance of Rs210 crore. As a result, the earnings per share (EPS) is expected to improve by Rs3 to Rs17.0 (as compared with the earlier guidance of Rs14).
  • We have attempted to value NPRC in line with Sun Pharma Advanced Research Company (SPARC, which is the demerged innovative R&D unit of Sun Pharmaceuticals). SPARC is currently trading at an estimated 5.7x its planned R&D spend of around $70 million (Rs287 crore) over the next three years. On assigning a similar multiple to NPRC's projected discovery R&D spend of Rs310 crore, we arrive at a value of Rs1,755.2 crore for NPRC. This translates into a per share value of Rs688.3 (2.545 crore shares of face value Rs10 each). However, for NPIL, whose shares have a face value of Rs2 each, this would imply a per share value of Rs137.6.
  • With the demerger of the R&D division, the earnings of the company are expected to improve by Rs3 per share (as per management guidance), implying a price appreciation of Rs54 (if we assign a multiple of 18x to the incremental EPS). We will be revising our estimates for NPIL in order to incorporate the impact of the proposed demerger at a later date. At the current market price of Rs288, the stock is trading at 21.5x its estimated FY2008E earnings and at 17.7x its estimated FY2009E earnings. We maintain our Buy recommendation on the stock with a price target of Rs326.

Ranbaxy Laboratories
Cluster: Apple Green
Recommendation: Buy
Price target: Rs500
Current market price: Rs417

Lipitor launch in Canada delayed; Ranbaxy to appeal

Key points

  • Pfizer Inc has succeeded in winning patent protection in Canada for its blockbuster drug, Lipitor, thereby prohibiting its rival, Ranbaxy Laboratories (Ranbaxy), from launching a generic version of the cholesterol-reducing drug until the expiry of the patent in July 2016.
  • The Canadian Federal Court in Toronto has ruled that Ranbaxy's proposed generic drug would infringe Pfizer Inc's patent that covers a crystalline form of atorvastatin (patent # 2,220,018) which is due to expire in July 2016. On the other hand, the Canadian court has granted a favourable ruling to Ranbaxy in the case of the patent # 2,220,455, which covers the process for making an amorphous form of atorvastatin and is also due to expire in July 2016.
  • Despite handing out a mixed ruling wherein the validity of the patent for crystalline atorvastatin has been upheld and the patent for the amorphous form of the compound has been invalidated, the court has ordered the Canadian health ministry not to issue a notice of compliance (approval) to Ranbaxy for marketing the generic version of Lipitor until the expiry of the patent covering the crystalline form of atorvastatin in July 2016, thereby preventing the company from entering the market until July 2016.
  • Ranbaxy has confirmed its intention to appeal against the ruling of the Canadian Federal Court to the Federal Court of Appeal in Canada and is confident of reversing the current ruling, thereby enabling it to launch the product in Canada before July 2016. Thus, Ranbaxy would be barred from launching the product until July 2016, unless it succeeds in reversing the court's current ruling in its appeal.
  • The unfavourable ruling received in Canada would come as a major setback to Ranbaxy in its battle for launching generic Lipitor in various markets across the world. However, we remain optimistic on the company's ability to receive a favourable ruling on all the four patents in its appeal in Canada. At the current market price of Rs417, the stock is trading at 23.6x its CY2008E earnings. We maintain our Buy recommendation on the stock with a price target of Rs500.

Satyam Computer Services
Cluster: Apple Green
Recommendation: Buy
Price target: Rs538
Current market price: Rs430

On a transformational path

Key points

  • Satyam Computer Services' (Satyam Computer) management articulated its business strategy to identifying new markets and new opportunities for its growth in the coming years. The key ingredient to the overall strategy is to prepare itself for the next wave of opportunity—transformational outsourcing.
  • Infrastructure management services (IMS) is an important part of the overall growth strategy. The company is targeting managed services and remote management services part of the opportunity rather than the traditional business of taking over the hardware assets. This segment contributes around 35% of the total IMS market estimated at $234 billion by 2010, up from about 29.5% in 2006.
  • The management re-iterated that it has not witnessed any change in the overall environment due to the subprime issue. It has been in regular interaction with its clients and the overall confidence level continues to be high. However, the management added a word of caution stating that it is premature to assess the possible impact if the fallout of subprime issue spills over to other sectors and results in a marked slowdown or recession in the USA.
  • At the current market price the stock trades at 17.2x FY2008 and 14.4x FY2009 earning estimates. We maintain Buy call on the stock with a target price of Rs538.

Cluster: Ugly Duckling
Recommendation: Buy
Price target: Rs300
Current market price: Rs208

Unexpected damage
Seamec has announced that its vessel Seamec II has been damaged in its front portion due to a fire while the vessel was undergoing statutory dry-docking in a shipyard at Netherlands. The extent of damage is not certain as of now. However, it is clear that the dry-docking days for the vessel would get extended now, resulting in lower revenue and earnings for the company in CY2007.

Surya Pharmaceuticals
Cluster: Ugly Duckling
Recommendation: Buy
Price target: Rs205
Current market price: Rs83

Strong growth at cheap valuations

Key points

  • During FY2007, Surya Pharmaceuticals (Surya) has enhanced its production capacities and has improved efficiencies of its production processes through de-bottlenecking exercise. >From a collective capacity of manufacturing 4,152 metric ton (MT) per annum, the company's current capacity stands at 5,423MT per annum marking an increase of 30%. The resultant capacity increase is expected to translate into higher revenues for the company's existing business of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and intermediates from FY2008 onwards.
  • Surya has also initiated construction of a new plant in the tax-haven state of Jammu. The Jammu plant will be constructed in line with the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) standards primarily to manufacture new APIs and sterile cephalosporins. With the commissioning of this facility, Surya will enter the high-margin injectable business. We expect the Jammu facility to contribute an incremental Rs100 crore to Surya's revenues in FY2009E.
  • Surya has recently entered the business of manufacturing menthol and its derivatives. The company primarily intends to sell these products to its overseas clients, and the company has started exporting these products in August 2007. We expect the menthol business to add Rs50 crore to Surya's turnover in H2FY2008E and Rs100 crore in FY2009E.
  • Having made a foray into the contract manufacturing space, Surya is now increasing its focus on the contract research area. The company is in advanced stage of negotiation with a British company for the development of a cost-effective process for a new molecule. Surya expects that partnering with the British company at this early stage of development will open up huge contract manufacturing orders for it, once the molecule gets commercialised. However, as the deal has not yet been finalised, we have not factored the upsides from this development into our estimates.
  • We have introduced our FY2009E revenue and earning estimates for Surya. We expect Surya's profit to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 55.3% over FY2007-09E on the back of a 46.2% CAGR in the revenues and a 100 basis point expansion in the operating profit margin. Based on this, we have projected fully diluted earnings of Rs28.8 per share in FY2008E and Rs32.1 per share in FY2009E.
  • At the current market price of Rs83, Surya is trading at 3.6x its FY2008E diluted earnings of Rs23.2 and at 2.6x its FY2009E diluted earnings of Rs32.1. The stock is highly undervalued when compared with its peers like Ankur Drugs, Sharon Bio-Medicine and Granules India, which are trading at an average FY2009E price earning (P/E) multiple of 7x. At current prices, Surya offers a remarkable combination of strong growth at cheap valuations. We view this as a strong buying opportunity and hence maintain our Buy call on the stock with a price target of Rs205.

Tata Motors
Cluster: Apple Green
Recommendation: Buy
Price target: Rs792
Current market price: Rs691

Continued decline in key M&HCV segment

Key points

  • Tata Motors' overall sales for the month stood at 45,144 vehicles. The overall sales declined slightly by 0.4% on year-on-year basis.
  • The commercial vehicle sales grew by 1.6% to 23,431 vehicles. The sales growth was driven by strong sales of light commercial vehicles (LCVs), which grew by 23% year on year on the back of its new launches Magic and Winger. The medium and heavy commercial vehicles (M&HCV) sales declined by 13.6% to 11,625 vehicles as the low demand continued in the segment. Our channel checks also reveal that the lower demand for M&HCV vehicles (particularly in the 12-16-tonne segment) led to a greater inventory creation in the system. Consequently, to fuel the growth the company has been offering attractive discounts of almost 4-6%.
  • Lower cargo availability during the monsoons caused the truck rentals to fall by about 1.5-2% on an average during the month. The lower cargo availability also led to a sharp decline in the round trips for truck operators, which is affecting their profitability slightly. The situation is expected to improve from the next month with the start of the festive season.
  • The passenger vehicle sales remained weak and declined by 5% in August to 16,620 vehicles. Indica sales dropped by 4% while Sumo and Safari sales dropped by 12% during the month. The lack of new product offerings has been the prime reason for the decline in the sales. The company has been offering discounts on most of its products and the discounts are likely to continue in September as well.
  • The exports remained stable and grew by 8% in August to 5,093 vehicles.
  • At the current market price of Rs691, the stock discounts its FY2009E consolidated earnings by 10.6x and is available at an enterprise value (EV)/earnings before interest, depreciation, tax and amortisation (EBIDTA) of 5.3x. We maintain our Buy recommendation on the stock with a price target of Rs792.

Tata Tea
Cluster: Apple Green
Recommendation: Buy
Price target: Rs970
Current market price: Rs762

Getting branded

Key points

  • In FY2007 the consolidated net sales of Tata Tea Ltd (TTL) grew by 29.6% year on year (yoy) to Rs4,024.9 crore. The growth was mainly driven by higher branded sales across the business and the inclusion of revenue of Rs558 crore from new acquisitions. The organic growth in FY2007 was 11.5%. Branded sales now constitute around 89% of the total sales compared with 85% in FY2006.
  • TTL reported a 24.6% year-on-year (y-o-y) jump in its consolidated net profit (adjusted for extraordinary items) to Rs366.2 crore.
  • In the domestic market, the company reported a top line growth of 9% to Rs1,054 crore in FY2007. The branded business (which constitutes 80% of the sales) continued with its impressive performance during the year, registering a 9% growth in volume and a 12% rise in value compared with that in the last year.
  • For the same period, the turnover of the Tetley group (a 77.7% British subsidiary of TTL) was Rs2,298 crore, which was 13% higher than that in the previous year. The organic growth was 8.5% which includes the benefits of exchange transactions. For FY2007 the profit after tax (PAT) of Tetley was lower by 12% at Rs130 crore as against Rs147 crore in FY2006. The PAT was lower mainly on account of an interest charge incurred due to the acquisition of Energy Brands Inc., USA (EBI).
  • During the year the company acquired a 25% shareholding in EBI, commonly known as Glaceau®, for US$677 million (enterprise value of EBI was estimated at US$2.2 billion). Subsequently, TTL has agreed to sell its stake in EBI for an approximate consideration of $1 billion to the Coca Cola Company. This transaction is expected to result in a pre-tax profit of approximately $415 million.
  • TTL also acquired a 15% stake in Mount Everest Mineral Water (MEMW), the owner of the Himalayan brand, by subscribing to a preferential issue at a price of Rs140 per share. It will purchase another 9.15% stake in MEMW from the latter's current promoters at the same price. The company would also make an open offer to acquire an additional stake of up to 20% in MEMW at Rs140 per share This acquisition makes TTL a complete beverage company, having presence in all the verticals, ie tea, coffee and water.
  • TTL is selling North Indian Plantation Operations (NIPO), which includes 24 tea estates in northern India, to a new company called Amalgamated Plantation Pvt Ltd (APPL). The sale would be effective from April 1, 2007. We believe that this move is in line with TTL's overall strategy to focus on packaged and specialty tea.
  • We believe the company is poised to become a strong player in the beverage market by penetrating new geographies through the inorganic route as well as by gaining presence in every segment of the beverage industry. On the valuation front, the TTL stock looks attractive at 11x its FY2009E diluted consolidated earnings per share (EPS) when compared with its peers in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector, especially when with the sale of NIPO, TTL has become a pure branded FMCG play. We maintain our Buy recommendation on the stock with a price target of Rs970.

Television Eighteen India
Cluster: Emerging Star
Recommendation: Buy
Price target: Rs967
Current market price: Rs838

Revising estimates

Result highlights

  • TV18 India (TV 18) reported a top line growth of 50.1% for Q1FY2008 with revenues of Rs68.1 crore on the back of a strong growth in both news and Internet segments.
  • The operating profit margin (OPM) dropped to 15.2% as against 31.3% in Q1FY2007 as web18 and Newswire 18 are in high investment phase.
  • The adjusted net profit (pre-ESOP amortisation and extraordinary items) stood at Rs0.6crore primarily on account of lower consolidated margins.
  • Web18 expanded its portfolio of offerings through the launch of and We expect Web18 to get listed by Q1FY2009.
  • After raising Rs200 crore through qualified institutional placement (QIP), TV18 board has approved a preferential allotment of 50 lakh warrants at Rs796 per share to the holding company Network18. This will increase holding of the parent company from 49.18% to 53.3%. We believe these funds will be utilised for the organic and inorganic growth plans in media and allied space.
  • TV18 has acquired a 35% stake in Mobile NXT a Bangalore based mobile retail chain. Mobile NXT has 25 retail outlets and has plans to open 150 stores by March 2008.
  • We have revised our estimates for FY2008 and FY2009 to factor in the higher revenue growth and the increased spend on account of ramping up new businesses that are in investment phase.
  • We maintain a price target of Rs967 for the stock derived from our sum-of-the-parts methodology of valuation of stock.


Q2FY2008 earnings preview

Earnings of Sensex companies to grow by 20% yoy

Key points

  • The earnings of the Sensex' companies excluding oil companies and adjusted for one-time items are likely to grow by 20% year on year (yoy) and remain stable quarter on quarter in Q2FY2008.
  • In Q1FY2008 we had seen that around 10% of the reported earnings had come from foreign exchange (forex) gains. Keeping the current strong uptrend of the rupee in mind, we may see companies reporting another 3-5% of one-time forex gains during the quarter. This would be in contrast to the initial expectations of forex losses in Q2FY2008, as the rupee had started to decline when our markets were facing the threat of large-scal e withdrawal from foreign institutional investors (FIIs). After the political turmoil and global subprime saga unfolded in end July and most part of August 2007 there were fears that the FIIs would pull out serious money from the market.
  • The Q2FY2008 earnings of the Sensex are going to be driven by companies from the telecom, information technology (IT) and banking sectors.
  • The backdrop of Q2FY2008 performance is not very encouraging with a lower export growth in rupee terms, a decline in the industrial output, deceleration in manufacturing revenues and a drop in automobile sales. All these leading indicators have been discussed in detail later.
  • Latest corporate tax collection growth rate for the period April to September 15, 2007 has slowed down to 25% from 49% reported for the period April to August 2007 (the first five months in FY2008). This translates into a 11% yoy growth in corporate tax collections for the first fortnight of September which includes the second installment of advance tax payments for corporates. We need to look at full tax collections for the month as the collections could have been influenced by the banking holiday falling on September 15, 2007 and the period of advance tax payment being extended to September 17, 2007.
  • Considering that all the leading indicators are pointing towards a slowdown, would the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) take cognisance of the matter and make the interest rate environment more conducive for growth? We feel the RBI is more likely to adopt a neutral stance in its next quarterly policy review meet (October end) before it starts easing its monetary stance. However the interest rates may start to come down slowly if the credit growth doesn't pick up and deposits continue to grow ahead of advances. This should set the stage for a recovery in key sectors like housing and automobiles with the onset of the festive season in the second half of the current fiscal.


Sharekhan's top equity fund picks

We have identified the best equity-oriented schemes available in the market today based on the following 3 parameter : the past performance as indicated by the one and two year returns, the Sharpe ratio and Fama (net selectivity).

The past performance is measured by the one and two year returns generated by the scheme. Sharpe indicates risk-adjusted returns, giving the returns earned in excess of the risk-free rate for each unit of the risk taken. The Sharpe ratio is also indicative of the consistency of the returns as it takes into account the volatility in the returns as measured by the standard deviation.

FAMA measures the returns generated through selectivity, ie the returns generated because of the fund manager's ability to pick the right stocks. A higher value of net selectivity is always preferred as it reflects the stock picking ability of the fund manager.



Banking sector poised for a re-rating
In this report we have discussed our views on the various macro aspects that have been a concern for the banking sector in the recent past. We have also delved into the various positive and negative factors that are likely to affect the banking sector in the medium term. Keeping in mind the strong interest of the investors in the financial sector, we feel the unfolding of the various positive triggers could lead to a re-rating of the banking sector in the medium term. Hence, we have revised our price targets for most leading banks (explained in detail later).


Old price target (Rs) New price target (Rs) Upside
Bank of Baroda 322.0 366.0 400.0 24.1
Bank of India 260.0 280.0 325.0 25.0
SBI 1886.0 1780.0 2282.0 21.0
HDFC Bank 1433.0 1355.0 1694.0 18.2
Axis (UTI) Bank 768.0 725.0 960.0 25.0
*CMP as on September 27, 2007

Information Technology

Two-pronged impact of Fed cut
The recent rate cut by the US Federal Reserve has affected the Indian technology stocks in two ways. First, it is a positive development in terms of the remedial steps taken to avoid a possible slowdown in the US economy. On the other hand, the move has weakened the US Dollar against all the other currencies including the Indian Rupee.

In fact, the rupee has breached the psychologically important benchmark of Rs40/US Dollars. This has dented the sentiments towards the tech stocks. Moreover, with the appreciation coming at the fag end of the quarter, it would also severely affect the performance in the second quarter.


TRAI's notification on interconnection issues in DTH
To facilitate the smooth expansion of direct to home (DTH) services in India, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has been addressing the key issues that have emerged in the initial stages of the DTH takeoff in the country. TRAI has recently issued regulations mandating the broadcasters to issue Reference Interconnect Offer (RIO) to DTH service providers.


Sustained upturn in steel prices
The average international hot rolled coil prices has increased by approximately 6% in the last one month to $570 per tonne. Following the global buoyancy in the international market and the increase in feedstock prices, international companies such as POSCO and Hyundai steel have raised the prices for the second time in the last two months. We believe cost-push factors will keep the steel price firm for the medium term and increasing consolidation will ensure reduced volatility over the longer term.


Healthy growth in subscribers continues
The mobile service providers reported a healthy month-on-month growth of 4.2% in net subscriber additions during August. This is similar to the growth rate of 4.1-4.25% reported in the previous two months.

Of the total net subscriber addition of 7.94 million in August, GSM operators added 5.95 million additional users. This amounts to a growth of 4.2% over the base at the end of July 2007, thereby taking the GSM subscriber base to 147.7 million. On the other hand, the CDMA operators added 1.99 million subscribers in August (a growth of 4.2% over last month), taking the user base to 49.24 million users.


Great Offshore

Fleet expansion boosts FY2007 revenues
We attended the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Great Offshore (GOL) and the key takeaways from the same are mentioned.

Gujarat NRE Coke

Merger of subsidiaries and growing investment value
India NRE Minerals Ltd (INR) proposes to acquire Gujarat NRE resources NL (GUJ) by way of an off market take over bid with the merged operations creating a major Australian coal company with coking coal reserves of ~456 million tonne.