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Indian stock markets had a volatile outing today. The day's proceedings began on a positive note and sustained buying activity across index heavyweights ensured that the indices stayed above the dotted line albeit within a range. Towards afternoon, selling pressure intensified and pushed the indices into the red with no recovery in the final trading hour too. While the BSE-Sensex closed lower by around 59 points (down 0.4%), the NSE-Nifty closed lower by around 9 points (down 0.2%). The BSE Mid cap closed flat, while the BSE Small cap closed lower by 0.2%. Barring consumer durables and Oil and gas stocks, losses were seen across sectors.

As regards global markets, Asian indices closed mixed today while European indices have also opened on a mixed note. The rupee was trading at Rs 53.55 to the dollar at the time of writing.

Pharma stocks closed mixed today. While Glenmark and Dr. Reddy's found favour, Ranbaxy and Lupin closed into the red. Ranbaxy announced results for the first quarter ended March 2012. The company's revenues grew by 71% YoY and were led by the strong performance of the US business and the emerging markets. The US business recorded sales growth of around 172% YoY. This was largely led by healthy growth in base business sales and continued sale of 2 exclusivity products notably Atorvastatin (Lipitor) and Amlodipine+Atorvastatin (Caduet). Operating margins improved substantially by 7.6% to 26.8% due to reduction in raw material and staff costs (as percentage of sales). Raw material costs especially declined from 34% of sales in 1QCY11 to 23.6% of sales in 1QCY12 largely on account of both the 180 day exclusivity products which enjoy higher gross margins. Led by the strong growth at the operating level, lower interest costs and forex gains on derivative contracts, bottomline grew by 312% YoY.

GSK Consumer Healthcare also announced results for the first quarter ended March 2012. Backed by 8% higher realisations and 7% rise in offtake, GSK Consumer Healthcare (GSKCH) clocked a 15% increase in topline. The slower growth in offtake was on account of stoppage of order placement by the 'Canteen Stores Department' (CSD) for the months of February and March 2012 which affected sale volumes by 250 basis points. The mainstay health food drinks (HFD) segment grew by 8%. In the non-HFD segment, with 8% share in overall sales, biscuits registered a steep growth of 31%. The company's operating margin remained static on account of a faster rise in cost of goods sold. Prices of inputs such as barley and skimmed milk powder continued to rule higher by over 15% YoY. Consequently the cost of goods to sold ratio shot up to 39.5% from 37% in the year-ago quarter. However the impact has been partially neutralised by reduction in both staff costs and advertisement expenses (as a percentage of sales). GSKCH clocked a 19.3% jump in earnings on a 13.7% rise in operating profit and modest increase in depreciation and tax expenses. The stock closed 2% higher.

Source: India Markets Thursday Wrap-Up: Volatility Plagues Indian Bourses