The benchmark indices extended initial gains and were trading near the day's high in morning trade. Gains in IT stocks offset losses in banks. At 10:25 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 136.46 points or 0.34% at 40,568.06. The Nifty 50 index added 32.50 points or 0.27% at 11,905.55.
In the broader market, the S&P BSE Mid-Cap index gained 0.32% while the S&P BSE Small-Cap index rose 0.26%.
The market breadth was strong. On the BSE, 1082 shares rose and 915 shares fell. A total of 113 shares were unchanged.
India reported 748,538 active cases of COVID-19 infection and 115,197 deaths while 6,733,328 patients have been discharged, according to the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. Total COVID-19 confirmed cases worldwide stood at 40,344,310 with 1,117,539 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Hindustan Unilever (up 0.39%), L&T Infotech (up 1.70%), Granules India (up 1.05%), Indian Energy Exchange (down 0.77%), Hindustan Zinc (down 0.82%), Kajaria Ceramics (down 0.69%), CCL Products (up 0.57%), Mahindra CIE (down 0.44%), Oriental Aromatics (up 0.94%), CRISIL (up 0.77%), Bombay Dyeing & Mfg.Co. (down 1.24%), DCM Shriram (up 0.19%), Maharashtra Scooters (up 1.06%) and Ramkrishna Forgings (up 0.71%) will announce quarterly earnings today.
Earnings in Focus:
HDFC Life Insurance Company added 0.05% to Rs 570.95. The company reported 6.1% rise in consolidated net profit to Rs 327.83 crore on 89.6% increase in total income to Rs 16,426.03 crore in Q2 FY21 over Q2 FY20. Net premium income during the second quarter rose by 34.9% to Rs 10056.71 crore as against Rs 7456.87 crore in the same period last year.
Commenting on the H1FY21 performance, Vibha Padalkar, MD & CEO said "Our market share in terms of Individual WRP has increased by 235 basis points from 15.2% to 17.5%. Our focus remains on our long term strategy of building a sustainable and profitable business and adding value to all key stakeholders. On the back of the improved economic momentum, we are optimistic about being able to sustain our performance across key metrics for the year."
Britannia Industries tumbled 4.65% to Rs 3598.35. The FMCG company posted a 23% rise in consolidated net profit to Rs 498.13 crore in Q2 September 2020 from Rs 404.22 crore reported in Q2 September 2019. Consolidated revenue from operations stood at Rs 3,419.11 crore in Q2 September 2020, rising 12% from Rs 3,048.84 recorded in Q2 September 2019.
Commenting on the performance, Varun Berry, MD said, " In this quarter, we got our full range of products to the market, focussed on efficiency in distribution, followed continuous replenishment system of distribution, improved the health of our distributors and inched closer to normalcy in advertisement & promotions. All the adjacent businesses too delivered a healthy profitable growth.
On the cost front, we witnessed moderate inflation in the prices of key raw materials and expect the prices to be stable going forward given the positive outlook on monsoon & harvest."
ACC rose 0.85% to Rs 1576.15. The cement major's consolidated net profit rose 20.26% to Rs 363.85 crore on 0.26% increase in net sales to Rs 3537.31 crore in Q3 September 2020 over Q3 September 2019. Cement sales volumes rose by 0.78% to 6.49 million tonnes in Q3 September 2020 compared with 6.44 million tonnes in Q3 September 2019.
Operating EBITDA increased 20.47% to Rs 671 crore in Q3 September 2020 over Q3 September 2019. Operating EBITDA margin rose by 328 basis points to 19.4% in Q3 September 2020 compared with 16.1% in Q3 September 2019, supported by efficiency and cost reduction.
In its outlook, ACC said: "The company believes that our country's economic recovery is underway and the economy will bounce back strongly in the next few quarters. The Government's thrust on infrastructure development, increased spending through measures aimed at reviving the rural economy and a sharper focus on the affordable housing segment is expected to drive strong resurgence of cement demand and bring growth opportunities for the cement sector going forward."