IT Results Keep Sentiment Positive

Updated: Oct 20 2002, 05:30am hrs
The market extended gains for the second consecutive week on the back of renewed buying seen in select new as well as old economy stocks.

In an extremely volatile market during the week the Sensex closed with modest gains. Dealers attributed better sentiment on the back of encouraging results of most IT stocks in the last couple of weeks which kept the market in the black. Gains in the tech stocks were also on the the back of solid gains on the Nasdaq.

For the week, the Sensex gained 13.99 points or 0.4 per cent to close at 3,009.76 points. IT stocks extended their gains on the expectations of the improved outlook of the Indian software sector. They continued to remain buoyant for the week led by Infosys. The Q2 earning numbers of Infosys which was posted last week was a shot in the arm for all blue-chip software stocks.

Gains in technology stocks were also on the back of growing outsourcing business of Indian blue-chip software companies. The Q2 revenue of Infosys and Wipro was mainly attributed to their rising outsourcing business which has helped Indian software companies to buck the global downtrend. Reduced IT budgets of large overseas clients are compelling them to outsource from smaller Indian software companies. Wipro which announced its Q2 results on Friday gained 1.54 per cent during the week to close at Rs 1,438.95. For the quarter ended 30 September 2002, it posted a 1.8 per cent rise in net profit to Rs 220.40 crore as against Rs 216.50 crore posted in the same period of last year. Wipros revenues rose to 1,062.10 crore as against last years income of Rs 877.60 crore.

Other tech stocks which gained during the week include, Infosys rising 2.21 per cent to close at Rs 3,844.20, Satyam - 5.78 per cent to Rs 224.35, HCL Technologies up 7.38 per cent to Rs 219.60, i-flex Solutions up 2.25 per cent to Rs 616.80 and Polaris Software up 5.36 per cent to Rs 215.90.

Stocks of public sector undertakings (PSUs) during the week displayed a mixed trend amid the uncertainty over the fate of the governments disinvestment programme. Select blue-chip stocks rose on signs of an improvement in the countrys economy. However, shares of pharma companies experienced a major setback. Dr Reddys Laboratories closed down 9.90 per cent to Rs 744.90 and Cipla down 10.93 per cent to Rs 868.95. Stock prices of Dr Reddys and Cipla tumbled following the US court ruling against Cipla.

Earlier during the week, statements by the prime minister and petroleum minister Ram Naik on disinvestment, lifted PSU stocks from their lower levels towards the close of the week. However, the share price of MTNL dipped 7.49 per cent to close at Rs 102.55. It also hit a nine-year low of Rs 99.10 following reports that BSNL may acquire MTNL in a friendly takeover.

L & T during the week closed up 9.71 per cent to Rs 188.75 after Grasim Industries announced that it would make an open offer to acquire a further 20 per cent stake in L&T at Rs 190 per share.