Markets this week: Mahindra and Mahindra, RIL top Sensex losers
By Ankush Arora and Sankalp Phartiyal
On Friday, global oil prices inched towards a nine-month high on increased risks of supply disruption from Iraq. Investors fear spiraling crude prices and a weak monsoon could add to inflation woes and hurt India’s current account deficit.
The monsoon has covered half of India four days behind schedule, failing to recover from a late start that has slowed the sowing of summer crops.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Federal Reserve hinted that interest rates would stay low for a while.
In the currency market, the rupee fell for the fourth straight week on higher global oil prices.
Here are the top five Sensex losers and gainers of the week:
MAHINDRA & MAHINDRA: M&M’s stock was the worst Sensex performer of the week, closing 7.1 percent lower and posting its third consecutive week of losses.
On Friday, some investors said the stock fell on worries that a weak monsoon may hit tractor sales. India’s biggest SUV maker derives a third of its revenue from tractor sales, which are largely dependent on farmers’ incomes. Any shortfall of rain has a bearing on rural incomes, according to analysts.
HSBC, however, is bullish on the stock as it last week upgraded M&M to “overweight” from “neutral” and raised the target price to 1,445 rupees from 1,340 rupees, saying it is the cheapest large-cap in the domestic autos universe.
RELIANCE INDUSTRIES: Shares of India’s third-most valuable company fell 4 percent this week, as compared to a loss of 2.2 percent in the BSE oil and gas index during the same period.
At the company’s annual general meeting on Wednesday, chairman Mukesh Ambani announced RIL will start offering 4G telecom services next year, a move likely to intensify competition in India’s already crowded telecom market.
Speaking to shareholders in Mumbai, India’s richest man said Reliance plans to invest more than 1.8 trillion rupees over a three-year period across all its businesses.
However, some traders said investors were disappointed by the absence of a plan to resolve the gas price dispute in Ambani’s speech.
Reliance and its partners are locked in a dispute with the government over implementation of higher gas prices.
“While RIL is in arbitration with the government over disallowance of cost recovery and implementation of new gas pricing, it indicated that the further E&P (exploration and production) development is contingent on timely regulatory approvals and market based gas pricing,” Motilal Oswal wrote in a research report on June 18.
HERO MOTOCORP: Stock of India’s largest maker of motorcycles and scooters fell 2.7 percent in the week ending June 20, after losing 3.5 percent the week before.
In an interview with The Indian Express this week, managing director & chief executive Pawan Munjal said the company would like to enter cars and commercial vehicles, but did not give a timeline.
Analysts are optimistic about the stock, which is linked to monsoon-driven rural sectors. Of the 53 analysts covering the stock, 33 have a ‘buy’ or equivalent rating, Thomson Reuters data showed.
LARSEN & TOUBRO: Shares of India’s top engineering conglomerate fell 2.3 percent this week. The stock hit an all-time high of 1,774.70 on June 9.
“L&T pegged new order inflow at 20 percent, and revenue growth of 15 percent, both over the prior year. With a clear tailwind of increased Indian government spending on infrastructure, this looks achievable and should mark a turnaround in the company’s fortunes,” wrote Morningstar in a note on June 2.
The stock’s outlook is positive. Of the 46 analysts covering the stock, 34 have a ‘buy’ or equivalent, data showed.
ICICI BANK: Closing in the red for the second consecutive week, shares of India’s leading private lender fell 2.2 percent in the week ending on June 20.
The stock has risen 27.3 percent in 2014 as compared to a gain of 32.3 percent in BSE banking index.
Analysts are bullish on the stock. Of the 49 analysts covering the stock, 42 have a ‘buy’ or equivalent, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Gas utility company GAIL was the top Sensex gainer this week, closing 5.4 percent higher. Infosys jumped 4.2 percent and TCS gained 3.2 percent. Private lender Axis Bank rose 2.7 percent and drugmaker Cipla ended up 2.7 percent.
(Editing by Aditya Kalra; follow Aditya on Twitter @adityayk, Sankalp @sankalp_sp and Ankush @Ankush_patrakar | Disclaimer: This article is website-exclusive and cannot be reproduced in any form without permission)