News

Cement prices continue to soften

The economy may be showing signs of recovery, but none of it is percolating down to the cement industry yet. Prices continue to soften, pointing to weak demand. A survey of cement dealers by Karvy Stock Broking Ltd found average cement prices fell from Rs.316 a bag (a bag equals 50kg) in September to Rs.300 last month. A similar survey ... Read More »

Mandating CSR spends are “like a tax”:Ratan Tata

Mumbai: Mandatory corporate social responsibility (CSR) spends for companies are “like a tax” and government needs to help identify beneficiaries, Tata Group chairman emeritus Ratan Tata said on Sunday, adding that philanthropy is an act which comes from within. “Philanthropy or giving is something that comes within you and you obviously create another motivation when you mandate that you will ... Read More »

Siemens: decent show, fancy valuations

Siemens Ltd posted a dull performance for the September quarter, with the operating performance falling short of the Street’s forecast. At 8.6%, the company’s operating margin was only a tad higher than a year ago, and significantly lower than the Bloomberg consensus estimate of 9.8%. Higher other expenses offset the reduction in raw material costs that benefited firms in the ... Read More »

Advanta merger to weigh on UPL earnings in the near term

Crop protection, chemicals and seeds company UPL Ltd is paying premium valuations to merge its group firm Advanta Ltd with itself. Upon merger, the company will issue one equity share for every share of Advanta. Over and above this, the resident (Indian) Advanta shareholders will receive three optionally convertible preference shares with an annual dividend of 5%. Advanta shareholders can ... Read More »

Social stars, celebrity brands

Click on graphic Social media is increasingly being used as a platform for brand promotions, especially by celebrity endorsers. Some stars have used it to pitch their films and even built themselves an online persona to match the characters they play on screen and the brands they back. The growing popularity of the medium has led to companies actively tracking ... Read More »

Challenging the Challenger

The Rs 1,20,000 crore (US$ 20 billion) mobile handsets industry in India has witnessed some fierce battles for market share and visibility in the past five years; the latest in the list of high profile head-to-heads is that between two home-grown vendors – Micromax and Intex. While, Micromax has been comfortably ensconced at the number two position in the mobile ... Read More »

Zica hopes for the Messi effect

Come January and Zica, the newest hatchback from the Tata Motors’ stable, will hit the road. Expected to be priced at around Rs 4,00,000, Zica is being positioned as a competitor to the Hyundai Grand i10 and Maruti Suzuki Celerio. It is also the first launch after Lionel Messi came on board as brand ambassador for Tata Motors, a relationship ... Read More »

Consumer sentiment inches higher in November

U.S. consumer sentiment inched up in November, but missed expectations, according to a report released on Friday. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s final November reading on the index was 91.3. That was higher than the previous month’s reading of 90, but missed Reuters’ estimates for 93.1. “Although some of the gains recorded earlier in the month evaporated in late November, ... Read More »

US business spending gauge surges, durable goods orders soar

A gauge of U.S. business investment plans surged in October, the latest suggestion that the worst of the drag from a strong dollar and deep spending cuts by energy firms was over. The Commerce Department said on Wednesday non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, increased 1.3 percent last month after an upwardly ... Read More »

S&P warns Yahoo! of a ratings cut as revenue growth stalls

Standard & Poor’s Tuesday cut its unsolicited rating outlook on Yahoo!to negative from stable, citing prospects for poor revenue growth and higher costs for acquiring traffic. The rating firm currently has a BB+ rating on the tech company, which has trailed its rivals amid high-level defections and growing doubts over the management’s ability to turn a corner. An unsolicited rating ... Read More »