Stocks are not just valued by how much profit they report but how they perform against market expectations. That is where Hindustan Unilever fell short in the March quarter. For example, the volume growth for the March quarter was just 7% against 11% in the March quarter last year. This is also the lowest volume growth in the last 6 quarters and was driven by weak rural sales. For the March quarter, the net profits were up by 13.8% at Rs.1538 crore while total revenues were up by 9.3% at Rs.9945 crore. In both the cases, the actual figures were nearly 7-8% lower than the consensus estimates of analysts. This lower-than expected performance was due to weak rural sales and pressure on volumes. The only positive feature for HUVR was that the operating profit margins (OPM) were up by 0.90% to 23.3%. However, the stock is likely to be under pressure unless there is pick-up in volumes, especially, the rural volumes on which HUVR is counting on.