Tracking Sensex: Top gainers, losers in May
By Aditya Kalra and Ankush Arora
The stock market adage ‘sell in May and go away‘ didn’t quite hold true for the Sensex this year, as the index ended in the green after falling for three consecutive years in May.
The Reserve Bank of India cut interest rates by 25 basis points this month and India saw its inflation figure ease below 5 percent. However, GDP data on May 31 came in line with expectations, damping hopes of further rate action.
Here are the top five gainers and losers of the month:
SUN PHARMA: With gains of 10 percent, the stock was the top Sensex performer in May. It touched an all-time high of 1,085.40 rupees on May 30 after the top drugmaker reported strong fourth quarter earnings and outlook.
TCS: Shares in India’s largest software services exporter rose nearly 9 percent, taking its gains for 2013 to 19.15 percent. A fall in the value of the rupee versus the dollar is seen helping IT stocks as it boosts overseas earnings.
INFOSYS: This was another IT stock that made it to the five best performers’ list for May with gains of 7.5 percent. According to Thomson Reuters data, 23 of the 54 analysts covering the stock have a buy or equivalent rating while 20 recommend a hold.
HERO MOTOCORP: The world’s largest manufacturer of two-wheelers ended the month with gains of 5.2 percent. The stock has now gained 12.2 percent since April.
HINDALCO: The stock ended with gains of 5.1 percent for May, but is still down 21 percent this year. Though the company reported a 24.69 percent drop in its March-quarter net profit, it announced that its copper smelter will reopen in early June.
GAIL: The stock ended as the worst Sensex performer in May, losing more than 12 percent. The stock closed at 306.95 rupees and is near a 52-week low of 300.4 rupees, last hit on March 26.
SBI: Shares of India’s largest lender fell 9.5 percent in the month. Disappointing earnings from the bank on May 23 weighed on sentiment, as the lender posted its first quarterly net profit drop in two years. In 2013, the stock has lost 14 percent. Goldman downgraded SBI to ‘sell’ and cut its target price to 1,900 rupees on May 27.
CIPLA: The pharma major’s stock lost 8.7 percent in the month. The company reported a 8.2 percent drop in March-quarter net profit, lagging estimates. ICICI Securities maintained a ‘buy’ on the stock but cut its price target to 472 rupees. In a May 30 report, it cited lower-than-expected domestic sales growth as one of the key risks for the company.
LARSEN & TOUBRO: India’s largest engineering and construction group was among the top Sensex losers in May with losses of 7.3 percent. The company reported a 6.9 percent fall in net profit for the March quarter on May 22, denting shares.
“We believe L&T is at an inflexion point – the next 12 months should see earnings growth recover,” Jefferies said in a research report, adding that they maintain a buy on the stock with a revised target price of 1,900 rupees.
JINDAL STEEL: Shares in Jindal Steel and Power ended with losses of 6.6 percent in May. The stock has suffered sharp losses this year and is down 36.5 percent in 2013.