The Bombay Stock Exchange’s (BSE) benchmark index gained for the first time in three days on Thursday, led by Bharti Airtel Ltd, whose profit rose more than forecast.
Bharti Airtel advanced 6.2%, the most in nearly two months, as profit rose after it added record customers and widened its lead over rivals. Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd fell before its earnings announcement on Thursday.
The Sensex added 34.67 points, or 0.4%, to 8,813.84. The S&P CNX Nifty index on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) rose 7.65 points, or 0.3%, to 2,713.80.
Bharti advanced 6.2% to Rs619.20, the most since 10 November. Net income rose to Rs2,160 crore in the quarter ended 31 December, beating the Rs2,140 crore median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
The company expanded services across rural areas, helping it add 8.17 million users in the quarter, compared with 5.31 million additions for nearest rival Reliance Communications Ltd.
”Another 150 million customers can be added in the sector,” said Mihir Vora, who owns Bharti and Reliance among the $570 million (Rs2,787 crore) of investments he oversees as head of equities at HSBC Asset Management Ltd in Mumbai.
Ranbaxy dropped 9.3% to Rs186.40, the most since 29 October. The company had a fourth quarter group loss of Rs680 crore, against a Rs188 crore profit a year earlier, according to a filing after the market closed.
Reliance Industries Ltd gained Rs16.45, or 1.5%, to Rs1,136.30 after it reported a third quarter (Q3) profit of Rs3,500 crore, beating the Rs3,120 crore median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The company reported earnings after markets closed.
United Spirits Ltd dropped Rs168.15, or 23%, to Rs568.25, the most since 2001. The company said Q3 profit declined 65% to Rs30.59 crore. The stock’s rating was lowered to ”neutral” from ”buy” at Merrill Lynch and Co. on higher costs. Merrill cut its share price estimate by 43% to Rs745 a share.
Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd fell Rs12.30, or 11%, to Rs97.80, its lowest since February 2006. The company said Q3 profit fell 26% to Rs83.97 crore. The stock’s rating was cut to ”neutral” from ”overweight” at JPMorgan Chase and Co.
Bharat Forge Ltd fell Rs5.20, or 6.6%, to Rs73.10, its lowest since July 2003 after it posted a group loss of Rs36.56 crore in fiscal Q3, against a profit of Rs70.96 crore, due to foreign exchange losses.