Can consumer stocks like Asian Paints and Titan continue to outperform?

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Some pockets of consumption, particularly discretionary consumption, could take longer to come again, says Shibani Sircar Kurian, Head of Equity Research, Kotak Mahindra AMC, on this interview with ET Now. Edited excerpts:


The market has been surprisingly resilient. Is there a benefit in believing that the earnings shock will continue as a result of now the demand indicators are wanting combined?
In the final two quarters, a big quantity of earnings upgrades happened. The numbers on this quarter have been just about consistent with expectations and so there has not been a lot of change in earnings estimates. The influence of slowdown and lockdowns will likely be seen in Q1 and so the tempo of earnings upgrades have began to dry out. Overall, the consensus earnings is now within the vary of 32-35 per cent for FY22. There will likely be some moderation however we’ll nonetheless see an honest earnings cycle.

From an financial development perspective, there was an influence however not as sharp as what was seen final 12 months. As vaccinations begin to choose up and lockdowns get lifted, the financial trajectory will even enhance. It might not be a pointy V-shape restoration like you noticed final 12 months however the influence itself was not as deep.

It appears like disinvestment is gathering steam as soon as once more. Do you assume that it’s time to spend money on a few of these disinvestment-bound PSU stocks?
The PSU pack it’s not a homogenous one and so you should have to take a look at every enterprise individually. As a theme, disinvestment is vital. While there may very well be some delays within the close to time period, disinvestment theme doesn’t go away. Of course, valuations have been extraordinarily overwhelmed down. We are approaching PSUs in a inventory particular approach. We are taking a look at three angles – disinvestment set off, enchancment in fundamentals and valuations. So we’ve got publicity in PSU names like an oil advertising firm, energy utility, and many others.

Are you looking to buy IT stocks now?
Some IT midcaps have outperformed the index and their valuations are stretched. There was a big visibility by way of order ebook and development. In the previous few quarters, development picked up fairly significantly whereas there have been some worries about margin pressures. Of course, margin pressures may be offset by increased development. There are levers by way of enchancment on the utilisation and offshoring elements which may help maintain margins not less than for a while. So so long as development continues, it’s potential that a few of these valuations can maintain up.

In the IT midcap pack, on each providers and product facet, there may be little or no room for error now. If there may be any sort of miss by way of development outlook or by way of administration commentary, particularly on the income development facet, then (needless to say) valuations are on the higher finish and even increased than their long-term common multiples. We have a choice for bigger names the place there may be a point of consolation on valuations. These bigger names are additionally seeing choose up by way of income development momentum. Their order books have additionally been fairly good. The deal momentum has improved, massive deal wins are coming via and that can end in narrowing the hole by way of the income development trajectory with midcap corporations. Across the board in our portfolios, we’ve got publicity in IT names.

However, do do not forget that as a sector IT has performed extraordinarily properly during the last one 12 months. Across the board, the valuations are on the higher finish by way of long-term common multiples.

Do you assume stocks like Asian Paints, Colgate and Titan can provide 10-12% returns from these ranges for the following couple of years?
Some of those consumer corporations have been compounders over a time frame. Unlike within the earlier wave the place the influence of Covid was restricted to a sure section of the inhabitants, this time it’s throughout the board – backside of the pyramid, center class, higher center class and the wealthy. The consumer sentiment could get impacted for a while. While the general financial influence has been shallower than what it was final time, the restoration per se additionally will likely be considerably of a U-shaped restoration, particularly the place discretionary consumption spend and general consumption is anxious. We anticipate that by the second half of the 12 months, you’re going to get again to a normalised run charge on general financial development however there may very well be some pockets of consumption, particularly discretionary consumption, which can take longer to come again.

In many of the consumer pack, valuations usually are not low-cost. Therefore, our choice for defensives is extra in direction of pharma and largecap IT stocks in our portfolios. We are impartial to barely underweight the place consumer names are involved in our portfolios.

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