Strong results from Hero Motocorp and Hindustan Unilever and a firm trend in most of the markets in Asian and Europen regions lifted sentiment and triggered some hectic buying on the Indian bourses in afternoon trade and lifted the key indices Sensex and Nifty to a positive close today.
After a firm start, the market did retreat and briefly slipped into negative territory around noon. However, it recovered soon and surged higher as the session progressed, with investors thronging the Hindustan Unilever counter post announcement of results.
While the Sensex, which rose to 19,428.94, ended the day with a gain of 100.78 points or 0.52% at 19.387.50, the Nifty closed at 5904.10, off the day's high of 5918.65, gaining 32.65 points or 0.56%.
Hindustan Unilever ended with a handsome gain of 7% on heavy buying at the counter. On a standalone basis, Hindustan Unilever has posted a net profit of Rs 3796.67 crore for the Year ended March 31, 2013 as compared to Rs 2691.40 crore for the Year ended March 31, 2012. Total income increased from Rs 22,394.68 crore for the Year ended March 31, 2012 to Rs 26,417.11 crore for the Year ended March 31, 2013.
On consolidated basis, the Hindustan Unilever Group posted a net profit after taxes, minority interest and share of profit of associates of Rs 3828.98 crore for the Year ended March 31, 2013 as compared to Rs 2790.66 crore for the Year ended March 31, 2012.
Hero Motocorp shares moved up 3.3%. The two-wheeler maker announced on Friday that its net profit fell 4.86% to Rs 574.23 crore on 1.79% rise in total income to Rs 6250.26 crore in the January - March 2013 quarter, over the corresponding quarter last year.
Wipro ended 3.6% up. Sterlite Industries advanced by 2.3%. ITC, ONGC, Mahindra & Mahindra and BHEL gained 1.3% - 1.7%. NTPC, Infosys, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Maruti Suzuki and Tata Power also closed on a firm note, albeit with less pronounced gains.
Reliance Infrastructure jumped nearly 4.5%. IndusInd Bank ended 3.7% with strong results continuing to prompt investors to buy the stock. Jaiprakash Associates ended 3% up. Sesa Goa moved up by 1.8%, despite the company reporting a loss of the January - March quarter.
HCL Technologies, Cairn India, Grasim Industries, DLF, IDFC and Punjab National Bank also closed notably higher.
Jindal Steel & Power lost nearly 4% with weak quarterly results dragging down the stock. NMDC declined by 2.3%. Coal India, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, State Bank of India,, Ambuja Cements, HDFC, Tata Steel, Axis Bank, Larsen & Toubro, Cipla, ACC and Kotak Bank ended with sharp to moderate losses.
Coromandel Internationa, up 8.3%, was the top gainer among BSE 'A' Group stocks. Reliance Communications jumped 7.8%. Indiabulls Real Estate, TTK Prestige, Siemens, Jain Irrigation Systems and Union Bank of India gained 5% - 7%.
Apollo Tyres, Indian Hotels, JSW Energy, Reliance Power, Titan Industries, Motherson Sumi, Unitech, Oracle Financial Services, Reliance Capital and Idea Cellular also rose sharply.
Raymon, KSB Pumps, Goodyear India and Cholamandalam Investments counters saw some buying thanks to impressive results. Indian Overseas Bank, Exide Industries, JP Infratech and Federal Bank attracted selling due to weak results. Lupin, Suzlon Energy and Ruchi Soya moved higher on stock specific news.
The market breadth was positive. Out of 2490 stocks traded on BSE, 1289 stocks moved up. 1070 stocks declined and 131 stocks ended flat.