5 star stocks that could lead the bull charge

ITC is one of the biggest beneficiaries of the corporate tax cut, according to analysts.

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RIL recently became the first Indian company to touch the ₹9-lakh crore market cap milestone.
Five heavyweights have contributed to about half the gains in the Nifty’s rally since September 20 — when the corporate tax rate cut was announced — to record highs. The benchmark index has gained 11% since September 20, with Reliance Industries, Housing Development Finance Corporation, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and ITC contributing most of the gains. ET takes a look at the road ahead for these stocks:

Reliance Industries
CMP: ₹1427.8
Change since Sep 20: 21.1%

THE MUKESH Ambani-led company has been on investors’ radar due to several factors. The oil-to-telecom conglomerate reported a 18% rise in September quarter profit to a record ₹11,262 crore. Analysts believe the company’s deleveraging plans of the tower, fiber assets and oil and chemicals business sale would help the company reduce debt to near zero. “RIL is a must have in the portfolio and is likely to become a ₹10 lakh crore market cap company,” said Sanjiv Bhasin, executive VP-markets and corporate affairs at IIFL. “If the Nifty rises to 13000, then RIL will be the frontrunner,” said Bhasin. The company recently became the first Indian company to touch the ₹9-lakh crore market cap milestone and was the first company to reach the ₹8-lakh crore market cap milestone last year.


Axis Bank
CMP: ₹733.6
Change since Sep 20: 14.94%

INVESTORS ARE positive on the stock because of strong operating performance. “Overall operating parameters for the bank remain robust, with strong loan growth momentum, NIMs remain robust and asset quality metrics have not deteriorated as a result. With the capital raising exercise completed, the overall tier I ratio stands strong at 15.03%,” said CIMB Securities in a note, maintaining a ‘buy’ rating with a target price of ₹950. Chandan Taparia, derivative analyst at Motilal Oswal, said the stock can rise to ₹765 in a month with support at ₹695. Taparia added he would prefer ICICI Bank over Axis Bank.

HDFC
CMP: ₹2234.9
Change since Sep 20: 13.2%

STEADY EARNINGS performance and asset quality have kept investors bullish on the stock. “HDFC’s 2Q (July-September) performance was steady with a 16% year-on-year net interest income growth, improving funding profile and a marginal deterioration in builder book, which was on expected lines... Given the current environment, the marginal deterioration in builder book is on expected lines, said Nomura in a recent note, upgrading the stock to a ‘buy’ from ‘neutral’ and raising the target price to ₹2550 from ₹2300.

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ITC
CMP: ₹259.3
Change since Sep 20: 9.5%

ITC IS one of the biggest beneficiaries of the corporate tax cut, according to analysts. Analysts said increased foreign flows into Indian market and the company’s high ranking on ESG parameters have also helped it gain in the recent weeks. “We have not seen GST increase recently,” said Abneesh Roy, senior VPinstitutional equities at Edelweiss. “We expect ITC to post 10% CAGR going ahead, and we need to see what happens on the taxation front in the next six months. If we see below 10% increase or no increase then it is a positive,” said Roy.

ICICI Bank
CMP: ₹496.9
Chg since Sep 20: 28.5%

ASSET QUALITY problems of the bank are getting resolved and the provision coverage ratio is one of the best in the industry, said Pritesh Bumb, analyst at Prabhudas Lilladher. “It will be good for ICICI Bank if some of the NCLT cases get resolved. Business of ICICI Bank is growing at a steady pace. It can give 12-15% annual return easily,” said Bumb, who has a ‘buy’ rating and a target price of ₹541 on the stock. The lender reported a 28% decline in its net profit for the September quarter. Excluding the impact of the one-time additional charge due to re-measurement of accumulated deferred tax, profit after tax would have been ₹3,575 crore in the second quarter. Analysts said the stock is likely to rise further as MSCI has increased its weightage in its India index. Chandan Taparia of Motilal Oswal expects the stock to rise to ₹525 in the near term.


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