Tata Steel falls despite operating profit surprise

Shares of Tata Steel Ltd fall 2.3 percent, surprising traders even as the company's

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consolidated operating profit for October-December rose 8 percent to Rs 40.1 billion from the previous quarter, beating estimates.

EBITDA per metric tonne was the big positive surprise as it increased 68 percent quarter-on-quarter to $43, analysts say, raising hopes about profitability.

Traders cite some profit-taking after the stock rose 12.8 percent in the five sessions till Tuesday after ArcelorMittal, the world's biggest steelmaker, last week forecast higher profit for this year, compared with a mere 1 percent rise in the Nifty in the same period.

Tata Steel posted a net profit of 5 billion rupees for the December-ending quarter, compared with a net loss of 7.89 billion rupees a year ago.

That missed some estimates because of one-time tax provisions, although some traders say it had been broadly factored in.

Shares in Tata Steel were down 3 percent at 10:56 a.m.

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