Indian stock markets witnessed a strong session today. The indices began the day's proceedings on a positive note, and thereon buying activity gradually intensified across index heavyweights in the subsequent sessions causing the indices to scale higher. This momentum was sustained in the final trading hour as well and the indices closed well above the dotted line. While the BSE-Sensex closed higher by around 354 points (up 2%), the NSE-Nifty closed higher by around 116 points (up 2%). The BSE Mid cap and the BSE Small cap also did well to notch gains of 2% and 1% respectively. Gains were largely seen in auto and banking stocks.
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed firm today while European indices have also opened in the green. The rupee was trading at Rs 49.25 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Pharma stocks closed mixed today. While GSK Pharma (NYSE:GSK), Lupin, Ranbaxy (OTC:RBXZF) and Glenmark found favour, Cipla closed into the red. Pharma major Glenmark has successfully completed Phase I trials for its molecule GRC 17536 for pain and respiratory conditions. Thus, the company plans to initiate Phase II trials on the same. The global addressable market for osteoarthritis and neuropathic pain is US$ 10 bn while that for asthma is around US$ 30 bn. Although a commercial launch is still a long way off and highly uncertain, in the event that the company is able to do so the potential for higher revenues and profits is huge. Glenmark so far has been following the strategy of out-licensing its molecules to global pharma companies for further development in return for milestone payments. Hence, depending upon how this molecule progresses in clinical trials, the company may choose to out-license this as well. Having said that, while Glenmark's ability to find partners speaks volumes about its research pipeline, the company has had to contend with failures in the past highlighting the high risks associated with novel drug research.
Power Grid Corp (PGCIL) announced results for the third quarter ended December 2011. Net sales grew by 12% YoY in 9mFY12 while the company transmitted 49 billion units of energy in 9mFY12 as against 57 bn units in full year FY11. Revenues from transmission business continued to comprise more than 90% of the company's turnover as the consultancy business saw a drop in contribution. However, the company has over 40 consultancy projects in hand valued at over Rs 260 bn. Hence the consultancy business pipeline is expected to recover. Operating margins remained stable at 84% with marginal improvement in the third quarter. Higher other income and lower tax incidence propelled the growth in the net profit margins in 3QFY12. The cumulative transmission network stood at 90,100 ckms at the end of January 2011 as against 82,400 ckms at end of March 2012. The stock closed higher today.