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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Auto stocks zoom on surging sales

Auto stocks were in the limelight on Tuesday as most auto majors reported an impressive rise in the sales numbers for the month of February. While Maruti Suzuki reported its highest ever monthly sales in February 2010, Bajaj Auto registered a rise of 75 per cent in the same month. Analysts say that the auto sector has also got a boost in the arm with the finance minister giving concessions to the investor community in the form of higher disposable income.

Till the afternoon session, the BSE Auto index gained was the best performer on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), gaining more than four per cent or 293 points. All the 14 auto stocks that are part of the index were trading in the green. The 30-share Sensex, on the other hand, gained a little less than two per cent or 315 points to trade at 16,745.

Tata Motors gained more than 11 per cent at Rs 790.50. The company has reported an overall 47.1 per cent year on year growth in it's consolidated topline to Rs 26,000 crore. Prabhudas Lilladher, in a report released on Tuesday, has said that it expects Tata Motors to rise further on the back of an improvement in the core commercial vehicle business, coupled with recovery at the JLR front. The brokerage has an 'accumulate' rating on the stock.

Meanwhile, Maruti also surged 2.26 per cent at Rs 1,496.65. Bajaj Auto gained nearly two per cent and is trading at Rs 1,850 around 2pm. Ashok Leyland, Escorts, Hero Honda and Mahindra & Mahindra all gained in the range of three to seven per cent each.

Maruti Suzuki sold 96,650 vehicles in February 2010 to surpass its previous high of 96,649 recorded in January 2010. The February sales figures also include 11,885 units of exports. In February 2010, the company sold 84,765 units in the domestic market, up 20 per cent over corresponding month last year. This is the highest ever domestic sales in a month.

Bajaj Auto registered a 75 per cent growth in its sales number in February 2010. While two-wheeler sales rose by 77 per cent, the three wheelers division registered a growth of 59 per cent, according to a company release.

In February 2010, Bajaj Motorcycles sold a total of 2,68,678 units that included 2,34,710 two-wheelers and 33,968 three-wheelers. Exports accounted for 77,642 units. Shares of Bajaj Auto gained 1.57 per cent or Rs 28.60 to trade at Rs 1,846. Earlier in the day, it touched a high of Rs 1,859.80. The company is also expanding its motorcycle capacity to 3,00,000 units per month by April 2010 to respond to the continuing strong demand for Pulsar and Discover brands

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