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Sensex reclaims 29000; Axis Bank, HDFC twins, IT lead

10:00

The News International Team

Equity benchmarks gained momentum amid consolidation. The 30-share BSE Sensex rose 134.92 points to 29018.03 and the 50-share NSE Nifty climbed 35.90 points to 8759.60.

The broader markets also saw marginal gains. Advancing shares outnumbered declining ones by a ratio of 1134 to 736 on the BSE.

Axis Bank rebounded after losing 8 percent in previous two sessions, up 2.5 percent. HDFC Bank, HDFC, State Bank of India, Maruti Suzuki and Coal India also led support to the market, up 1 percent each.

TCS, Infosys and Wipro climbed 0.8-1.5 percent after Cognizant positively surprised the street with a revenue growth of 6.2 percent Q-o-Q and provided an encouraging guidance of 19 percent for this year. CLSA says guidance should improve investor confidence on CY15 demand health for Indian IT companies.

However, ONGC saw profit booking, down 2 percent. ICICI Bank, Cipla, Sesa Sterlite, Dr Reddy’s Labs, GAIL and Tata Power went down 0.7-1.6 percent.

Bharti Airtel declined 0.7 percent on reporting tepid results with consolidated revenue and EBITDA slightly lower than estimates, with Africa dragging the overall business. CLSA downgraded Africa FY15/18 EBITDA estimates by sharp 11-13 percent while Bank of America Merrill Lynch says they see downside to consensus EBITDA estimates for Bharti.

In the broader space, KEC International lost 8 percent as the company reported weak revenues and margins. Consolidated total income fell 6.7 percent at Rs 2,053.3 crore Y-o-Y. Barclays downgraded stock to an underweight and cut earnings estimates by 29-75 percent over FY15-17 on lower margin expectations. It also lowered 12-month price target to Rs 73 from Rs 121.

Aurobindo Pharma fell 4 percent as Q3 margins declined to 20 percent from 30 percent and profits slipped 8 percent to Rs 384.35 crore. EBITDA impacted due to high base from created due to Cymbalta drug Y-o-Y.

Pipavav Defence gained 7.5 percent as reports suggest that Mahindra & Mahindra, the Hero group and a French shipbuilder have started separate discussions with the promoters to purchase a 19 percent stake.

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