The year 2012 saw the Sensex rising 26%. Markets made a strong start in 2012 with the Sensex rising above 18,000 in February. Concerns over retrospective amendment of tax laws and GAAR, announced in the Budget to target tax evaders, however, dampened sentiments thereafter. The Sensex got a leg up in September when the government started implementing some bold reforms to kick start the economy. The Sensex is ending 2012 on a strong note on the back of the $24 billion in foreign flows this year.
Here are top five Sensex gainers and losers in 2012
- Tata Motors: Shares in the country's biggest commercial vehicles maker have jumped 75 per cent in 2012, but a closer look at the performance shows a worrying picture. Strong performance of the luxury car division Jaguar Land Rover, which accounts for more than 90 per cent of Tata Motors' profits, has driven share prices, but domestic business has been weak. Passenger vehicle sales are down 8 per cent between April & November.
- ICICI Bank: India's biggest private sector lender shares have returned 66 per cent in 2012 and the outlook for the next year remains bullish. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and BNP Paribas have identified the stock as their top pick for the coming year. ICICI Bank posted its highest ever quarterly profit this year and it has surprised the Street with strong asset quality. (Read: How ICICI Bank bounced back from the brink)
- Maruti Suzuki: Shares in India's biggest car maker rose 63 per cent in 2012 despite a month long closure of the Manesar plant. A depreciation in yen and strong sales of Alto 800 and Ertiga multi-utility vehicle helped Maruti shares. Analysts remain optimistic in their outlook, citing higher diesel prices in 2013 that will benefit Maruti's petrol variants, and further depreciation in the yen. (Read: Maruti versus M&M: Which stock to bet on in 2013)
- L&T: The stock has gained 62 per cent this year despite sluggish industrial activity. To beat domestic slowdown, L&T is focusing on ramping up overseas growth. It aims for foreign markets to account for 25 per cent of revenue by 2016. Analysts say every investor should hold shares in the country's top engineering and construction firm in their portfolio.
- HDFC Bank: The private lender emerged as India's biggest bank by market capitalisation in 2012. HDFC Bank shares surged 58 per cent. The bank's net interest margin, a key gauge of profitability for banks, has remained over 4 per cent, the highest in the industry and bad loans are perhaps the lowest among peers. HDFC Bank has posted profit growth of over 30 percent every year for the last decade and the stock continues to find favour in portfolios despite rich valuations. (Read: From penny stock to bellwether: HDFC Bank's secret sauce)
- Infosys: India's second biggest software services exporter has lost its bellwether status to TCS. The stock fell 16.5 per cent, the most among all Sensex companies in 2012. Infosys, once the darling of the Street for beating its guidance, has missed its estimates for four quarters in a row. It has stopped issuing quarterly forecast, and there are no signs of a turnaround yet. (Read: Why Infosys may continue to be a laggard)
- Gail India: India's biggest gas utility's shares have fallen over 8 per cent this year mainly on account of larger subsidy outflow and lower gas output from Reliance Industries’ KG-D6 gas fields.
- Bharti Airtel: Despite a late surge, India's biggest mobile carrier is ending the year 7 per cent lower. High debt and falling profits continue to weigh on stock prices. Regulatory overhangs refuse to go away and the poor listing of Bharti Infratel has further deteriorated sentiments around telecom stocks. (Read: Bharti Airtel: 5 reasons why shares have hit 25-month low)
- BHEL: Shares in India's biggest power equipment maker end the year with a 4.5 per cent drop because of the uncertainties that surround coal and gas supplies and delays in environmental approvals for mining projects and power plants. New orders are hard to come by and some big orders were cancelled this year leading to a spate of brokerage downgrades.
- NTPC: The state-run power generation firm ends the year with nearly 3 per cent losses.
(With inputs from agencies)