Despite strong gains by indices, close to 50% constituents lag benchmarks

Written by fe Bureau | Mumbai | Updated: Aug 26 2014, 16:32pm hrs
BSE SensexRupee appreciation has acted as a limiting factor for pharma and IT stocks in the last six months. (Reuters)
Although the benchmark indices representing the bluechip and mid-cap space have sustained strong year to date gains this year, nearly half of the index members have underperformed these barometers.

In case of largecap indices the fifty share Nifty and BSE 100 that gained more than 26% in 2014, 45% of constituents have trailed the year to date gains reported by these respective indices.

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While mid and small sized companies in general have benefited from a turn-around in the market sentiment with the respective indices gaining 39-85% this year, more than half of index members have underperformed the benchmarks.

The list of laggards broadly include companies from defensive, pharma, IT and consumer sectors.

While the rupee appreciation has acted as a limiting factor for pharma and IT stocks in the last six months, a general shift towards cyclical stocks which market experts see leading the earnings recovery, has also moderated investors' interest in defensives.

Not surprisingly, bluechips like TCS, Infosys, Wipro and DRL have all trailed benchmark returns by 10% to 24%.

Issues like higher valuations and a slow-down in volume growth have capped the performance of consumer goods stocks most of which continue to hover with price to earnings multiple which are above historical averages. While stocks like Dabur and HUL have tried hard to buck this trend with year to date gains of 31% and 24.7%, names like Godrej Consumer Products, Colagte, Nestle, ITC and Tata Global beverages have under performed BSE 100 index by 15%-30%.

Even as increasing number of analysts are turning optimistic on auto stocks as they start discounting the positive impact of economic recovery on auto sales, so far in the year only Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki and M&M have managed to ride high on the back of these anticipation with year to date gains of 35%, 59% and 49%. Meanwhile, Bajaj Auto and Hero Motocorp have rallied about 18% and 21% only.

Bluechip stocks from capital intensive sectors that are trying to deleverage their balance sheets, including DLF, JP associates and RComm, have widely trailed the benchmarks year to date.