Bharti Airtel, NTPC top Sensex losers this week

By Reuters Staff
August 23, 2013

By Sankalp Phartiyal and Ankush Arora

The BSE Sensex recovered on Thursday and Friday after the index lost around 700 points in the first three trading sessions of the week. However, the index still ended down 0.4 percent as a weak rupee, concerns over foreign flows and uncertainty over the end of the U.S. Fed’s stimulus plan kept investors on the edge.

As a worsening current account deficit and inflation loomed large, the rupee hit fresh record lows below 65 per dollar in the week ending Aug. 23. However, gold prices and bonds rallied.

Fitch Ratings has warned Asia’s third-largest economy of a downgrade if the government fails to soothe tensions in the financial market. JP Morgan and HSBC downgraded Indian shares to ‘neutral’.

Here are the top losers and gainers of the week:

LOSERS

BHARTI AIRTEL: India’s top telecom service provider was the worst Sensex performer with a weekly loss of 8 percent, taking its losses for the month to over 10 percent.

Nomura, which maintains a neutral rating on the stock with a target price of 315 rupees, said in a research note on Aug. 21 that financial leverage and inadequate infrastructure are challenges for the company.

NTPC: The stock has lost 7.6 percent of its value this week to end at 129 rupees. It touched a 52-week low of 126.25 rupees on Thursday.

However, analysts seem to be optimistic about the stock. Of the 44 analysts covering the stocks, 39 have a ‘buy’ or equivalent rating on the stock, according to Thomson Reuters data.

SUN PHARMA: Shares of the pharma company also struggled, sliding 6.5 percent in the five-day period. The stock ended in the red for three of five trading sessions this week.

Earlier in August, India’s top drugmaker by market value reported a net loss of 12.76 billion rupees ($209.64 million) for the June quarter.

“Strong earnings growth coupled with superior execution track record makes Sun Pharma an attractive investment opportunity at current levels,” Motilal Oswal said in a research report on Aug. 12.

CIPLA: With losses of 4.4 percent, this drugmaker was also among the worst performing Sensex stocks this week. The stock ended at 396 rupees, down 1.4 percent for the week.

It has underperformed the pharma space this year. The BSE healthcare index is up around 6.5 percent this year, while Cipla has lost 4.3 percent.

HERO MOTOCORP: Shares of the motorcycle maker ended at 1901.05 rupees after losing 4 percent this week, in line with the fall in the BSE auto sub-index. The stock is hovering around its one-year high of 2004.70 rupees it hit last week.

Of the 51 analysts covering the stock, 25 have a ‘buy’ or equivalent rating, according to data.

Jefferies has a ‘buy’ on the stock with a target price of 2,400 rupees. “While good rains and low base could boost demand, weak consumer sentiment argues against strong revival,” Jefferies said.

GAINERS: Metals stocks were the best Sensex performers this week, with Tata Steel climbing 20 percent, followed by Sterlite Industries that gained 15.7 percent. Jindal Steel rose 12.8 percent while Hindalco ended 11 percent higher for the week. BHEL rose 9.6 percent.

(You can follow Ankush on Twitter @ankush_patrakar and Sankalp at @sankalp_sp)

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