After a somewhat listless start and a subsequent tight spell, the market rallied smartly around noon, but gave up its gains and faltered into the red in the final hour after Larsen & Toubro reported disappointing results for the April - June 2013 quarter.
While the Sensex, which rose to 20,264.90 a little past noon, ended the day with a gain of 9.27 points or 0.05% at 20,159.12, the Nifty closed at 6031.60, off the day's high of 6064.15, recording a gain of 2.60 points or 0.04%.
Larsen & Toubro ended lower by 7.5% on heavy selling following the company's quarterly results falling well short of market expectations. The company reported a 12.5% year-on-year declined in its net profit at Rs 756 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2013 on account of job mix, lower margin accruals and lower other income. In the corresponding quarter last year, the company had posted a net profit of Rs 864 crore. The power segment recorded a 38% yoy fall in profit at Rs 98.52 crore against Rs 159.86 crore in a year ago quarter, the company said in a filing to the exchanges.
Reliance Industries ended more than 1.5% down. Reliance Industries said after trading hours on Friday that its net profit rose 18.9% to Rs 5352 crore on 4.6% decline in revenue to Rs 90,589 crore in the April - June 2013 quarter, from the year ago period. The company's operating profit before other income and depreciation rose 3.9% to Rs 7075 crore in the June 2013 quarter, from the corresponding quarter last year.
Reliance Industries also said it will invest over Rs 30,000 crore in the next three years in its US shale gas business. The company had acquired shale gas assets in the US in 2010 for $3.45 billion and has already invested $5.7 billion in shale gas joint ventures till the June 2013 quarter. Reliance Industries reported last Friday that revenue from its shale gas venture in the U.S. rose 84% thanks to rising production.
Housing finance stock HDFC moved up 3.2%. Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Mahindra & Mahindra, Bharti Airtel, ICICI Bank, Hindustan Unilever, Coal India, Tata Power, Infosys, Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto, Hero Motocorp also ended notably higher.
The market breadth was slightly weak. Out of 2416 stocks traded on BSE, 1233 stocks declined. 1032 stocks moved up and 151 stocks ended flat.