Archive for the ‘Market analysis’ Category.


I just couldn’t resist myself. I wrote in jan that the rebound would start on 22 april 2009 and then ‘predicted’ in feb that the bear market would end.

Wow! I got nailed it. I got two predictions right (ok, one is a little bit off, but give me a break). I am certified guru, soothsayer, the big kahuna and should be on CNBC !!. I should charge money for this 🙂

For those of you who reading this for the first time or are new to the blog – I am joking. I do not believe that anyone can predict the markets and it is a complete waste of time. If you guess enough times using all kinds of mumbo jumbo, you will get it right 50% of the times.

An investment strategy based on 50% success rate will get you nowhere.

A few more interesting points
I have noticed a few more interesting thought processes on other blogs and discussion boards.

– I like the company, but the next 3-6 months are likely to be bad and so I will wait till the performance turns
– I will wait till the election results are clear and then buy when the market crashes
– The export market is bad, US is doomed and I want to wait till everything recovers

So what is being said that one should buy when everything is bright and sunny (or at least everyone thinks so!). So the best time to buy was Late 2007 to Jan 2008. Everyone was optimistic about the world then. Now we all know how that turned out!

Maybe the above works if your investment horizon ranges from a few days to a few months.

However if you are investing for the long term, i personally think the smartest thing to do is to analyse companies in depth and buy them when there are selling at a good discount to instrinsic value.


I am not planning to make any forecast on where the forecast will be in the next few month. However I have done some analysis on the sensex and nifty index and uploaded it in the google groups. You can check here to download the file Quantitative calculation 2008.xls and check the first worksheet – market valuation.

The numbers for june 2008 are computed for both the sensex and the nifty. A few observations

  • The current PE for the sensex is around 16.8 and 17.7 for nifty. By historical standard ( history is few years back, not a few months) it is not too low. Just about towards the upper end of the PE band
  • The Return on equity (earnings/book) is still pretty high by historical standard. In the 90’s the numbers were generally low in 14-19% range. The last 3-4 years were actually an exception. We had a confluence of positive factors. Low interest rates, high demand growth and high capacity utilization all resulted in high returns. Companies had also re-structured and so net margins and ROE have been high in the past few years. The business cycle may be turning, with interest rates and inflation creeping up. We could revert to an average ROE of 18% (still higher by historical standards)
  • The Earnings growth has been 20%+ in the last few years. This has slowed down to around 10-12% in the current year.

Lets do some scenario analysis. For sake of assumption lets look at some probable scenarios on factors which are based on fundamentals

Book value is around 3540. An ROE of 18% which looks like a fair no. (look at the data for the entire 90s till 2003. I am still assuming a higher  number). So normalized earnings is around 640 Rs which is lower than the current number of 820. What this means the earnings growth could slow down over the next few years as ROE reverts to the historical numbers. It is important to remember that ROE, unlike PE is not driven by market pschology. So the historical numbers do count in case of ROE.

For PE looks at the years 96-98. Interest rates were high and market PE ranged between 14-17.

Now for a juicy forecast – lets say earnings grow to around 900 in 2 years (book value will have to grow by 20% per annum and returns will drop to around 18% for that, so it is not impossible) and the PE is around 16-18, we are looking at a range of 14500- 16500.

Keep in mind that the assumptions in arriving at these numbers are still optimistic. We are still assuming reasonable growth in book values, moderate drop in ROE and fairly decent multiples. If things turn out better then we could have another bull market. But if we revert to historical levels, even on some variables such as ROE or PE or growth, then even the current market level is not too low.

Ofcourse other than the data, everything else in this post is a hypothesis. So my guess is as good as yours.


I have written earlier that there seems to be more value in the midcap space than Large caps represented by the Sensex and Nifty. The above hypothesis came about as I am finding far more ideas in the midcap than the large cap sector of the market.

I decided to check the above hypothesis and generated the above two charts for the Nifty index and CNX midcap. The nifty index has appreciated by around 23% in the last year, whereas the midcap index has increased by around 13 %. Does this prove my hypothesis. Yes and no !. Yes because some of the stocks have come down quite a bit and may be worth investing. No, because the midcap index as a whole is not too cheap, currently trading at around 17 times PE.

So blindly buying into the index may not make sense, but picking specific stocks would.

Based on the above view I tried to look for some mutual funds in the midcap space and found the following interesting. I am listing the negatives of each of the funds. The returns of the funds have been fine and they may be worth a look

Birla midcap – This is a 5 star fund. It does not have a very long operating history. The fund has been around 3 years and the last 2 years performance has not been great

Sundaram mid cap – This fund has delivered good performance in the long run. However the last 1 year performance has not been great. Also the fund has a new fund manager. The fund is extremely spread out and has more than 70-80 stocks in the portfolio

Franklin prima fund – This fund has the longest operating history. It has done well in the past and the fund manager has been around from the beginning. The manager follows a buy and hold philosophy and has higher portfolio concentration. The last 3 year performance has been average though.

As usual, the fund expenses are high and the volatility of these funds is also high. An SIP mode of investment may be a good approach.

In addition, funds like HDFC equity and Franklin prima plus have a diversified approach and can move between various caps. These funds may also be good way of investing in the mid-cap space too as HDFC equity has around 50% exposure midcaps and Franklin prima plus has around 35-40% exposure to midcaps.

You can look for the details for each fund at I am not recommending any of the above funds, just laying out the facts for some funds which I find worth investigating further in the midcap space. A superior approach would be to pick specific stocks, but that requires a higher amount of effort and time.