A trader uses a telephone while working on the floor of the Colombo Stock Exchange in Colombo, Sri Lanka (Photographer: Kuni Takahashi/Bloomberg)  

Stocks Radar: Asian Paints, Axis Bank, Bajaj Auto, DHFL, Yes Bank

Indian equity benchmarks opened higher after declining for three consecutive sessions. The S&P BSE Sensex and the NSE Nifty 50 Index gained as much as 0.3 percent to trade at 35,720.9 and 10,682.15, respectively, as of 9:40 a.m.

Stocks in Asia traded mixed as the earnings season rolled on and investors awaited the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting.

The market breadth was tilted in favour of buyers. Eight of the 11 sectoral gauges compiled rose, led by a 1.68 percent gain in the Nifty Metal Index. On the flipside, the Nifty Realty Index dropped 0.46 percent.

Here Are The Stocks Moving The Market Today

Yes Bank Surges After Founders Bury Differences

Shares of the private lender rose as much as 5.5 percent to Rs 213.55 apiece.

Yes Bank’s Madhu Kapur Group and Rana Kapoor Group have agreed to nominate one representative director each on the bank’s board, subject to the completion of the necessary documentation, according to an exchange filing. The announcement will be made at the next scheduled board meeting in April.

The stock fell 43 percent in the past 12 months compared to a 1.9 percent decline in the S&P BSE Sensex.

L&T Technology Declines After Promoter Offloads Stake

Shares of the engineering services company fell nearly 3.3 percent to Rs 1,635 a share.

Larsen & Tourbo proposed to sell up to 30 lakh shares or 2.89 percent of its equity stake in L&T Technology Services, with an option of oversubscribing another 2.49 percent through stock exchange mechanism, according to an exchange filing. This move has been undertaken by L&T to meet the minimum 25 percent public shareholding norms laid down by the market regulator.

Of the 16 analysts tracked by Bloomberg, 12 recommended ‘Buy’, two suggested ‘Hold’, while two had a ‘Sell’ rating on the stock.

Also read: L&T To Sell Stake In Technology Services Arm To Meet SEBI Norms

DHFL Near Three-Year Low After Corbapost Alleges Fraud

Shares of the housing finance company fell as much as 9.5 percent to Rs 153.50 apiece, its lowest since February 2016.

The media portal alleged that DHFL diverted loans worth more than Rs 30,000 crore through a network of shell companies. The non-bank lender, however, clarified saying Cobrapost exposé was done with a mala fide intention, according to its exchange filing. The company said it is confident of meeting any scrutiny on any aspect of operations.

The trading volume was almost 30 times the 20-day average for this time of the day, Bloomberg data showed.

Asian Paints Gains After Andhra Plant Begins Operations

Shares of the paintmaker rose as much as 1.7 percent to Rs 1,416.80 apiece.

The commercial production of Asian Paints’ Andhra Pradesh factory began operations from Jan. 29, according to its exchange filing. The initial capacity of this facility is 3 lakh kilolitre per annum.

The stock gained 21 percent in the past 12 months compared with a 1.9 percent fall in the BSE Sensex, according to Bloomberg data.

Axis Bank Hits Lifetime High After Q3 Results

Shares of the Mumbai-based lender rose close to 6 percent to a record Rs 699.80 apiece after its net profit jumped more than twofold in the quarter ended December.

Key Earnings Highlights (Q3, YoY)

  • Net interest income up 18.4 percent at Rs 5,602.9 crore.
  • Net profit jumped 2.3 times at Rs 1,680.9 crore.
  • Provisions at Rs 3,054.5 crore versus Rs 2,927.4 crore.
  • Gross non-performing asset at 5.75 percent versus 5.96 percent in the previous quarter.
  • Net NPA at 2.36 percent versus 2.54 percent in the July-September period.

Also read: Q3 Results: Axis Bank’s Profit Jumps More Than Twofold On Other Income

Stocks Radar: Asian Paints, Axis Bank, Bajaj Auto, DHFL, Yes Bank

Here’s what the brokerages have to say about the stock:

CLSA

  • Maintains ‘Buy’; hikes price target to Rs 840 from Rs 800.
  • Strong top line aids operating profit.
  • Slippage a tad higher but recoveries stronger.
  • Improvement in return-on-equity and a stable earnings rise will be key to a further re-rating.

Prabhudas Lilladher

  • Maintains ‘Accumulate’; hikes price target to Rs 745 from Rs 681.
  • Strong deposit traction; loan mix was broadly stable.
  • Stress on balance sheet is coming off with incrementally lower intensity of downgrades.
  • Strategy unveiled to lead towards 18 percent return on equities by March 2022.

Bajaj Auto Fluctuates Ahead Of Earnings Announcement

Shares of the two-wheeler maker swung between gains and losses to trade at Rs 2,560 apiece. The company will announce its results for the December quarter today.

Q3 Estimates (YoY)

  • Revenue seen to rise 17 percent at Rs 7,467 crore.
  • Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation expected to decline 2 percent to Rs 1,203 crore.
  • Profit likely to rise 10 percent to Rs 1,047 crore.
  • Margins seen to contract 320 basis points to 16.1 percent.

The stock traded 17 times its estimated earnings per share for the coming year, according to Bloomberg data.