...and other stories you must, must know today.
Seetal R Iyer | Harish Puppala | Rakesh Sharma
Let’s look at the big headlines on Thursday evening:
1) L&T acquires crucial 26% stake in Mindtree as marquee investors exit.
L&T has managed to buy 6% in Mindtree from the open market and a 20% stake jointly held in Mindtree by Café Coffee Day founder VG Siddhartha and two CCD affiliate firms.
L&T will also purchase an additional 15% from the open market and 31% in the open offer, beginning Tuesday.
2) HCL’s Q4 net beats estimates, forecasts 14-16% growth for FY20. HCL Tech expects FY20 revenues to grow 14-16 % in constant currency. Its net profit came in at ₹2,568 crore in March quarter.
3) In market news, Sensex extends fall to 7th day, losing fell 230 points; RIL, Asian Paints lead decline
4) Brokerage firm Morgan Stanley has downgraded RIL to equal-weight, with a target at ₹1,349 per share.
5) Meanwhile, RIL falls for fourth session, hitting a 10-week low; erases over ₹96,000 crore in market value
6) Asian Paints Q4 net edges lower to ₹487 crore, as the company reported a dip in net profit, hurt by high raw material prices and higher marketing spends
7) As Uber is slated to go public this week in an offering that may give the company a market value of about $79 billion, SoftBank chief Masayosho Son also announced that the group plans to set up a second Vision Fund soon.
8) Nirav Modi denied bail for a third time, will remain in a jail described by his lawyers as "unliveable".
9) Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo Vows Tougher Economic Reforms After Clearing Elections, to focus on tackling a high current-account deficit that’s weighed on the nation’s currency,
10) A report has claimed that China backtracked on almost all aspects of US trade deal, and deleted its commitments to change laws to resolve core complaints that caused the United States to launch a trade war.
11) Australia Prints $1.6 Billion of Currency With a Typo, the word responsibility has been misspelled in. Nearly 400 million of the notes were printed, with 46 million in use.
12) CNBC-TV18 reported that Apple is preparing to open its first India store with a short list of locations in Mumbai in the near future.
13) In politics, Rahul Gandhi tendered an unconditional apology to the Supreme Court in the contempt case filed for linking the apex court to his claims about Prime Minister Modi.
14) Meanwhile, the Supreme Court dismissed a case that questioned Rahul Gandhi’s citizenship
15) In entertainment news, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle have named their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
HCL Tech full-year net profit crosses ₹10,000 crore
IT services company HCL Tech today reported a better-than-expected net profit for the fourth quarter ended March 31 and also guided for a strong revenue growth for the next fiscal. HCL’s Q4 net profit came in at Rs 2,568 crore in March quarter, which was down 1.7% quarter-on-quarter but better than estimates. On a year-on-year basis, net profit was up 15.3%.
Overall, for the year FY19, its net profit crossed the ₹10,000 crore mark, coming in at ₹10,123, up 15.3%. Revenues increased to ₹15,990 crore, up 1.9% quarter-on-quarter and 21.3% year-on-year. In constant currency, revenues rose 3.3% quarter-on-quarter and 15.3% year-on-year. In dollar terms, revenues came in at $2,278 million, up 3.5% QoQ and 11.8% year-on-year.
CFO Prateek Aggarwal said, “We have delivered an overall solid FY’19 performance. EBIT margin for the year at 19.5% is within the guided range. This financial year, we achieved significant milestones - our revenue exceeded ₹60,000 crore, and net profit crossed ₹10,000 crore mark.”
The company declared an interim dividend of Rs 2 per equity share of Rs 2 each of the company for the financial year 2019-20.
HCL’s results were being keenly watched as the US-headquartered Cognizant halved its revenue forecast for 2019 this week, citing sluggish demand in its financial and healthcare businesses.
The Titanic did not cross the Atlantic. This man did. In a barrel.
In the past couple of days, there have been some extraordinary pieces of news from the political and financial worlds. Donald Trump’s financial failures; a House panel recommending holding his current attorney general William Barr in contempt; North Korea testing a couple of new missiles; newer twists in the US-China trade war and trade talks – one is never certain when they are warring and when talking.
But for the last piece today, I thought I would leave you with something interesting, something perhaps even hopeful.
As far as interesting goes, there is plenty to choose from. Perhaps misspelling is a trend now – and we have Trump to “thank” for that, per usual – but the newest $50 bank notes brought by the Reserve Bank of Australia has misspelled ‘responsibility,’ happily omitting one of the I’s. Clearly some seeing eyes were omitted in the process too. $2.3bn worth of currency has been printed, by the way. An Australian covfefe, if you will.
In other interesting news, wasps are clever, apparently. They have been shown to have transitive interference. Simply put, they can work out that if is X is greater than Y, and Y is greater than Z, X is greater than Z. It might not seem much to you, but it is a wasp, for god’s sake. Speaking of something being bigger than an other thing, you can now go to Denver to find out how it feels for something to be bigger, smaller, distorted, and hell, even have that thing talk to you. Denver has voted to decriminalize hallucinogenic mushrooms.
The story I’ll leave you with, though, is that of a floating Frenchman.
Jean-Jacques Savin set off from the Canary Islands, off the coast of Africa, on December 26, 2018 -- heading west. That seems quite ordinary, you’re probably thinking. And sure it would be, were it not for the fact that it was in a barrel he built for himself. Life of Pi, with none of the existential dilemmas of eating one’s own mother. Savin is no savage, he caught some fish, and ate his dinner. Like a gentleman. This barrel – his own royal carriage – orange in colour, ten feet long and seven feet wide, had a small kitchen and a bed, and space for storage. And hope. Perhaps even a prayer. But no engine.
After being plopped into the ocean, he relied entirely on the ocean’s current to help him make landfall. And make landfall he did – on a Dutch Caribbean island called St. Eustatius shortly after midnight last week, bringing a mammoth, 2,930-mile journey to a close. Two miles an hour is how fast he moved.
But I bet Bangalore traffic can break even this man.
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