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  1. India’s best auto stock loses favour of top fund manager; Manish Sonthalia is now betting on these stocks

India’s best auto stock loses favour of top fund manager; Manish Sonthalia is now betting on these stocks

While there’s a lot of buzz around the shares of India’s largest car-maker, which are trading at near life high levels, Manish Sonthalia of Motilal Oswal says that he doesn’t want to bet on the stock at current levels.

By: | Published: December 13, 2017 4:19 PM
Sharing his outlook for 2018, Manish Sonthalia says that NBFCs which outperformed benchmark indices in the year 2017 may underperform in the next 12 months. (Image: Reuters)

While there’s a lot of buzz around the shares of India’s largest car-maker Maruti Suzuki, which are trading at near life high levels, Manish Sonthalia of Motilal Oswal said that he doesn’t want to bet on the stock at current levels. Notably, Maruti Suzuki India overtook SBI, to become India’s sixth most valued company, after the car-maker’s shares zoomed  2.11 per cent on Friday. The company currently commands a market capitalisation of 2.75 crore as compared to SBI’s mcap of 2.73 crore. Interestingly the shares have already returned more than 71% in the year so far.

The marked out-performance of the shares has led many top fund managers to remark to say that Maruti Suzuki India shares is one of the best performing auto stocks globally.  In an interview to CNBC TV18, Nilesh Shah, Managing Director of Kotak AMC said that in his recent visit to Japan, he used Maruti Suzuki’s rise to explain India’s potential.

“I carried just one chart with me, and said, I can explain India in hundred slides or I can explain India in one slide. I compared Maruti Suzuki India‘s performance with Honda, Toyota, Nissan, General Motors, Ford and all the listed companies, and said that look, the world’s best performing automobile stock is in the Indian market, and this is how Suzuki has made money in India. Surprisingly, they were not aware of this story and they all lapped it up,” he told the channel.

Track live stock price: Maruti Suzuki India

Global brokerages CLSA and Morgan Stanley too have a buy on the shares. Morgan Stanley has increased the target price on the shares to Rs 10,563 from Rs 9,102 earlier. Maruti Suzuki India shares closed at Rs 9,130.1 on NSE. In its report, the global firm observed that end- market opportunity and superior RoCE support valuation. Morgan Stanley sees 22 per cent EPS CAGR over FY18-20 for Maruti and it further believes that the stock can touch Rs 14,400 in the bull case.

Sharing his outlook for 2018, Manish Sonthalia says that NBFCs which outperformed benchmark indices in the year 2017 may underperform in the next 12 months. “We are going to see rate increase sometime in FY19 and rates are going to harden with inflation and twin deficit coming back could weigh on NBFCs,” Manish Sonthalia, Head Equities- PMS at Motilal Oswal AMC told CNBC TV18. The market expert also sees a lot of opportunity in dairy and consumer space.

“The dairy theme is likely to do well given the fact that PM Modi plans to double the farm income in the next 3-4 years. In the dairy sectors, the focus will be on companies who are selling liquid milk rather than value-added products because the work capital cycle and cash conversion cycle is much more favourable in liquid milk,” he told the channel.

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