Indian stock markets languished in the red for the larger part of the day today on the back of relentless selling witnessed across heavyweights. While the indices began on a weak note, subsequent trading sessions saw the markets move deeper into the red. There was no respite in the final trading hour either as the indices closed well below the dotted line. While the BSE-Sensex closed lower by around 371 points (down 2%), the NSE-Nifty closed lower by around 117 points (down 2%). The BSE Mid cap and the BSE Small cap were not spared either as they closed lower by 2% each. Losses were largely seen in banking, metals and Oil & gas stocks.
As regards global markets, most Asian indices closed into the red today while European indices have also opened weak. The rupee was trading at Rs 49.69 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Media stocks closed in the red today with the key losers being NDTV, Navneet Publication, Balaji Telefilms and Zee Entertainment. Zee Entertainment announced results for the third quarter and nine month ended December 2011. The company's topline registered de-growth of 8.5% YoY during the quarter due to poor performance of the advertising segment which de-grew by 10% YoY. Advertising contributes to more than 50% of the total revenues of Zee. Operating margins however increased by almost 1.5% to 28.6% during the quarter on the back of lower programming costs. In the same quarter last year, these margins stood at 27.2%. Other income increased by 46% YoY during the quarter as well as during the 9 month period ended December 2011. Net profits fell by 13% during the quarter. However, for the 9 months period, net profits were up by 14.5% YoY.
Indian Hotels also announced results for the third quarter ended December 2011. Net sales for 3QFY12 increased by 7.4% YoY on the back of marginal improvement in occupancy rates and new hotel launches. Operating margins declined by 2.7% YoY during the quarter. This was due to increase in overall costs which saw a rise of 11.6% YoY. Cost pressures in the absence of strong revenue momentum led to a 2.4% contraction in operating profit in the quarter from a year ago. The company reported a marginal increase of 0.5% in net profits which stood at Rs 505 m as compared in Rs 503 m in the corresponding quarter last year. This was due to weaker domestic demand and high interest costs that affected the hospitality sector in India. The company also reported a 9.3% YoY increase in net sales and 69.5% YoY increase in net profit for the nine months ended December 2011. The stock closed lower today.