Stocks & Funds

India’s top 100 stocks, the five most popular stocks have delivered double-digit returns, according to analysts

Top stocks to buy

While India’s corporate earnings performance in the December 2022 quarter was muted and largely below market expectations, analysts remain largely bullish on the top 100 stocks by market cap. A Motilal Oswal analysis shows that analyst recommendations on these stocks have moderated only marginally from 73% a year ago to 71% in March 2023.

Based on the brokerage, India Inc’s Q3 result was muted by inflation and other macroeconomic headwinds. Also, Indian equities’ outperformance against the global indices in 2022 has been wiped out as massive selling by foreign institutional investors (FIIs) took a toll amid macro headwinds and a weak demand environment.

In the report, India’s sharp outperformance in 2022 has started fading due to a relatively muted corporate earnings season and severe FII selling ($2.5 billion current year to date).

The Sensex rose 4.4% in 2022 while the major global indices declined 8-33%.

A reversal occurred in 2023. The Sensex has fallen more than 5% while global market indices have risen. Nasdaq Composite is up nearly 8%, China’s SSE Composite Index is up 4%, and Japan’s Nikkei is up nearly 6%.

Motilal Oswal has examined the popularity and performance of the top 100 stocks by market cap in light of volatile market conditions. Zomato and Nykaa are among the stocks with the most upside estimated by brokerages, according to the study. India’s equity markets are dominated by these 100 stocks, which account for 68% of their total market capitalization.

Stocks with the most and least coverage

ICICI Bank, Maruti Suzuki, Bajaj Auto, Axis Bank, and IndusInd Bank are among the most tracked stocks with coverage by more than 10 analysts. However, analysts did not cover Hindustan Aeronautics, Abbott India, Max Healthcare, JSW Energy, or Yes Bank.

In the last year, the top five most popular stocks have delivered returns ranging from 15% to 40% according to at least 50 analysts.

Most popular stocks with ‘Buy’ ratingAnalyst coverage1yr perfLeast popular stocks with a ‘Buy’ ratingAnalyst coverage1yr perf
ICICI Bank5331%Hindustan Aeronautics10116%
Maruti Suzuki5228%Abbott India1016%
Bajaj Auto5115%Max Healthcare1028%
Axis Bank5128%JSW Energy11-7%
IndusInd Bank5140%Yes Bank14

Capital goods, private and public banks, healthcare, and real estate have seen their sectoral preferences increase between 4% and 11%.

A list of stocks with the most and least ‘buy’ ratings

Among the stocks with the most ‘buy’ ratings are India’s largest aluminum producer Hindalco Industries, Adani Ports and SEZ, State Bank of India, and engineering giant Larsen and Toubro.

Stocks with most ‘Buy’ ratings‘Buy’ ratingsStocks with the least ‘Buy’ ratings‘Buy’ ratings
Hindalco Industries100%Yes Bank7%
Adani Ports & SEZ100%JSW Energy9%
Max Healthcare100%JSW Steel19%
SBI98%Divi’s Laboratories20%
L&T98%Hindustan Zinc20%

For example, a stock with 100% buy rating means that all analysts covering the stock rate the stock as ‘buy’.

The stocks with the most upside and downside

Motilal Oswal’s top 100 stocks have a 17% upside potential according to consensus target prices.

Brokers estimate that UPL, Zomato, SBI Life Insurance, LIC, and Nykaa have the greatest upside. JSW Energy, Shree Cement, ABB, Cummins India, and Berger Paints have the greatest downside potential.

Stocks with the most upsideUpside %Stocks with the most downsideDownside %
UPL42%JSW Energy-23%
Zomato39%Shree Cement-10%
SBI Life Insurance38%ABB-5%
LIC36%Cummins India-4%
Nykaa35%Berger Paints-3%

Last year’s best- and worst-performing stocks

The last year has seen multi-bagger returns for investors in Varun Beverages, Hindustan Aeronautics, and TVS Motor.

Falguni Nayar-owned FSN E-Commerce (Nykaa), IT major Wipro, pharma major Divi’s Laboratories, and insurance giant LIC performed poorly.

While the Nifty50 has declined so far in 2023, analysts remain largely optimistic about the prospects of the top 100 stocks.

Best Performers1yr perfWorst performers1yr perf
Varun Beverages122%Nykaa-36%
Hindustan Aeronautics116%Wipro-33%
TVS Motor107%Divi’s Lab-32%
M&M84%Hindalco Industries-31%
Bank of Baroda79%LIC-31%

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Editorial Director
I'm Shruti Mishra, Editorial Director @Newsblare Media, growing up in the bustling city of New Delhi, I was always fascinated by the power of words. This love for words and storytelling led me to pursue a career in journalism. In this position, I oversee the editorial team and plan out content strategies for our digital news platform. I am constantly seeking new ways to engage readers with thought-provoking and impactful stories.


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