Sign of improved investment cycle gives push to corporate profits, says ICICI Securities


New Delhi, May 4 : Low leverage effects, earnings beat and nascent signs of improving investment cycle are providing confidence on sustainable growth in corporate profits, said ICICI Securities. Key positives for the current uptrend in profit cycle is that it is not yet inflated by the effects of 'operating and financial leverage' as capacity utilisation is still in the 60-70 per cent range on a trailing 12-month basis and industry credit is just showing signs of revival from a decadal low, it said. "Prospects for the investment cycle are improving in terms of rising 'animal spirits' observed in the two major growth engines of the capex cycle (private industrials and real estate - link)." Also, high optimism from earnings is missing if the trend of higher beats versus misses is any indication as High operating and financial leverage combined with high optimism typically lead to huge earnings disappointment in case demand slumps. On an aggregate basis, corporate profits are expected to grow in a range of 15 per cent-30 per cent over FY22-FY24E with the NIFTY50 likely to grow at the lower end of the range while higher growth is emanating from the mid- and small-cap stocks. The higher growth is attributable to significantly larger impact of Covid on mid- and small-cap space and the rapid opening up of the economy, which is likely to show higher growth on a depressed base, it added. Mid- and small-caps have the lion's share of the most severely Covid-impacted sectors such as hotels, resorts, restaurants, cinema, travel agents, travel bags, airlines, real estate, retail stores, capital goods, small banks and NBFCs. Besides, FPI flows continue to be negative although the pace of selling reduced in April 2022 as compared to March 2022, which was a month of record outflow. Sectoral flows for April (1st-15th) indicate that FPIs continued to be net sellers in banks, financials, consumer discretionary, and industrials. /IANS


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