How to pick stocks in 2023

When we published our equity market outlook for 2023, we had mentioned where pockets of opportunity could be found. The correction the market is going through provides fertile grounds for stock picking. So here, we tell you how to pick stocks in 2023, in those pockets that we had noted. We do this using our Stock Screener.

Prime Stock recommendation: A promising play on food security

Recent instances of countries rationing food supplies on import disruptions and grappling with hyper-inflation, have prompted governments the world over to refocus on food security. With limited supply of arable land and water, the key to achieving food security lies in improving crop yields. In India, there’s a crying need to improve yields not only to secure food supplies for the domestic population, but also to cater to global export opportunities for farm products, that are at an inflection point. Companies engaged in crop protection, fertilizer and hybrid seeds are positioned to make the most of these tailwinds.
But if you’re an Indian investor looking to make a long-term bet on this theme, your options aren’t very many. There are about 20 listed companies in the fertilizer space. But the sector makes for a poor investment because of whimsical government policies that hamper growth and profitability. Listed crop protection and seed companies offer superior options. Listed agrochem players offer choices from micro to large players, with differing business models that focus on generic agrochemicals, interm

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Technical outlook: Can the Nifty 50 slide further?

In the past couple of posts on the Nifty 50 outlook, we have been voicing a bearish view for the Nifty 50 index. This has played out as per expectations. The index almost achieved the first target of 17,150-17,200 that was mentioned a couple of posts ago. In the previous update, we had mentioned the possibility of a slide to the 16,700-16,900 zone.
Let us assess if this target is likely to be achieved or not.

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Prime stock update: Are we still sweet on this sugar maker?

In August 2021, we recommended a sugar manufacturer, well placed to play the ethanol opportunity that was set to change the dynamics of the sugar sector in India. 18 months down the line, the ethanol opportunity has played out as we expected and we have more clarity on this front. But at the same time, stock returns for our chosen candidate stand at just ~5% since our ‘BUY’ recommendation even though it rallied over 30% and also fell by almost 20% in the interim. We think, this calls for an update.

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Prime Stocks update: Moving this biotech stock from BUY to a HOLD

When we gave the call of this R&D focused company engaged in the manufacture of enzymes and probiotics, the company had Covid-related challenges but showed promise of growth. It was later also pulled down by consolidation of acquisitions and costs related to new product launches. We therefore knew that the call would take longer to pay off.  The stock went through a significant correction after our initial recommendation as earnings disappointed.

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Governance: 8 checks to assess management quality

The Adani saga (still continuing, I guess) brings forth the issue of governance, management quality, and other qualitative factors that many investors consider as essential check boxes. During the time I spent in CRISIL, ‘management quality’ would set a cap on ratings. But what is ‘management quality’?

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Prime Stocks update: How this EV player is placed now

We had, in mid-2021, initiated a buy call on a stock that was reinventing itself from a supplier of diesel engines into an EV player. It was an early call we’d made on the EV boom, which appears well-timed as electric 2-wheeler sales jumped from 16,000 units in 2018 to 150,000 units in 2021 to a whopping 615,000 units in 2022!
With the EV 2-wheeler market now clearly segmenting itself, there is more clarity on how competition and market share is shaping up. The EV 2-wheeler industry is also going through regulatory tightening.

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Fundamental analysis or technical analysis: which is better?

There are more theories on what works in stock investing than there are listed stocks. Each one seems to be successful at some point in time. However, there is still no single universally applicable formula. I am still in search of that magic formula. If any of you do find one, please post it in the comments section.

But if there can be said to be two warring camps on the right approach to stock investing, these are usually fundamental analysis and technical analysis. Both have loyal camps of followers who swear that their method works best.

Prime Stocks: An update on a recommendation

In one of our stock recommendations last year, we analysed a company that was moving from ‘tonnage to technology’. We spoke briefly about the company transforming itself from a manufacturer of forged components to a supplier of products, systems and assemblies to defence and electric vehicles. The stock delivered 27% since our call (index 8.5%) and we retain a buy. In this report we detail further on the above opportunities based on the information that the company shared with analysts last month.

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