Top companies from key sectors of the Indian economy are gearing up to unveil their performance for the third quarter (Q3) of the current financial year as the earnings season gathers further steam. Financial analysts and investors will be keenly watching the results from a host of bellwether corporates to get clues about the underlying demand environment as macroeconomic headwinds continue to pose challenges.

Leading the pack would be oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), which is scheduled to announce its Q3 earnings later today. The company, led by Mukesh Ambani, has business interests spanning energy, petrochemicals, textiles, retail and digital services. Investors will look for updates on capacity utilizations at RIL’s refining and petchem plants as well as growth drivers for its fast-expanding telecom and retail divisions. Most analysts forecast RIL to deliver around 10% year-on-year growth in revenues and profits for the quarter. 

Another major name set to declare results is Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) – the Indian unit of Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever. The company faces a tough sales environment in the current year due to high inflation eroding consumer spending power. While HUL has undertaken selective price hikes to pass on rising input costs, further volume pressure cannot be ruled out. The street will be watching for management commentary around demand trends and strategic initiatives to boost market share.

In the metals space, Hindustan Zinc Ltd is scheduled to announce its numbers. As a leading zinc-lead miner, the Vedanta group company’s profitability is dependent on London Metal Exchange prices which recently cooled off from multi-year highs. Operational performance and guidance on mined metal output will feature on investors’ radar.

After its lackluster stock market debut last year, digital payments major One97 Communications Ltd (Paytm) is also set to publish its Q3 earnings card. The Noida-headquartered company continues to focus on growth with an eye on achieving operating profitability over the medium term. Key metrics such as total payments value and revenue trajectory will offer valuable forward-looking clues.

Other significant corporates on the earnings roster for the day are RBL Bank, Ultratech Cement, CreditAccess Grameen, Hindustan Zinc, Sigachi Industries and Supreme Industries among others. Q3 usually witnesses healthy farm sector income and ensuing rural demand, but high interest rates and inflationary cost push remain economic wildcards for this results season as well. Overall, the earnings announcements are poised to provide valuable inputs on the health of domestic consumption and investment activities.