Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Nifty and Sensex down almost 1%; Axis Bank, ICICI Bank weigh

Telecom majors outperformed even as the benchmark indices continued to languish in negative terrain weighed down by selling pressure in select private banks while caution was seen in FMCG majors ahead of their second quarter earnings later today.

At 12pm, the S&P BSE Sensex was down 215 points at 27,877 and the Nifty50 was down 54 points at 8,637. In the broader market, the BSE Midcap was trading flat while the Smallcap index was up 0.3%. Market breadth was firm with 1291 gainers and 1116 losers on the BSE.

Bharti Airtel was up over 2% on better-than-expected profit and higher margins. The telecom major posted a 4.9% year-on-year (y-o-y) drop in its consolidated net profit at Rs 1,461 crore for the quarter ended September 30, 2016, mainly on account of higher spectrum amortisation, increase in net interest costs and devaluation of Nigerian currency. The profit figure, however, was much better than Bloomberg consensus estimate of Rs 1,229 crore. Further, reports suggest that the company is exploring stake sale in Bharti Infratel. Meanwhile, the company has announced new 10-day packs for international roaming with unlimited incoming calls.

Idea Cellular was up 4%. The company’s revenue, however, increased 7.2 per cent to Rs 9,300.23 crore in the reported quarter from Rs 8,675.37 crore in the year-ago period. Idea Cellular on Monday reported a 88 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) drop in its consolidated net profit at Rs 91.46 crore for the September 2016 quarter mainly on account of higher expenses and inflationary pressures even as the company witnessed a decline in voice realisation.

Axis Bank was the top loser down nearly 7% after the private lender reported a 83% drop in net profit to Rs 319 crore in July-September quarter as compared to Rs 1,915.64 crore in the same quarter last year. This sharp drop in profit was led by higher provisioning that increased by over five times as bad loans increased.

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