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How to Find Best Value Stocks in India?

Created on 12 Mar 2024

Wraps up in 9 Min

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Updated on 01 Apr 2024

Top 10 Value Stocks in India in 2024

The 8 crore stock market investors in India are roughly divided in two categories. One relies on growth-oriented stocks for quick returns, and another is always on the lookout for value stocks.

If you are unfamiliar with this term 👆, let me give you a quick hint. Value stocks are the ones that appear to be trading for less than their intrinsic value in terms of fundamentals. Expert investors believe these stocks have a major gap to reach their potential in the near future.

So, how do you find value stocks amidst the 5000+ companies listed on the stock exchange?

In this article, I will list some of the best-value stocks in India in 2024. And that's not all! I will also help you find value stocks, DIY style, so that whenever someone mentions the term “value stocks”, you can reply…

What are Value Stocks and How to Find Them?

Have you ever come across the term "value investing"? In essence, value investing is a strategy that involves assessing a company's true underlying value, taking into account its financials, assets, future earnings potential, and other factors. It's similar to spotting a discounted item at a store - you believe it's worth more than the current price tag.

To gain a comprehensive understanding of value investing, explore Finology Quest’s exclusive event, The Value Investing Carnival. This is a gathering of esteemed fund managers and financial & industry experts, each bringing their unique insights and experiences to the table.  

Now that you are somewhat familiar with value investing, let’s delve into the potential goldmine of value stocks. These are the stocks that the market has overlooked, and their stock prices will eventually rise to reflect their true worth, presenting a promising opportunity for profit.

And when I say overlooked, I mean it in terms of fundamentals like financial ratios, statements, etc.

How to Find Value Stocks?

There are some popular value stocks that have been privileged to make it on the list for quite some time now, like Reliance Industries Ltd., Coal India, etc. However, there is always a possibility that these companies may not make the cut for the year when checked via Piotroski F-Score.

The Piotroski Score Explained:

Developed by Professor Joseph Piotroski, the Piotroski score is a 9-point valuation metric, with 9 being the best and 0 being the worst. Each criterion reflects a different aspect of a company's financial health and is divided into three points:

a. Profitability Criteria:

1. Net income > 0 (+1)

2. ROA in CY > 0 (+1)

3. CFO in  CY > 0 (+1)

4. CFO > Net Income (earnings quality) (+1)

b. Leverage, Liquidity, and Source of Funds Criteria

5. Long-term debt current year < long-term debt previous year (decreasing leverage) (+1)

6. Current ratio current year > current ratio previous year (increasing liquidity) (+1)

7. No new shares issued in the last year (shares dilution) (+1)

c. Operating Efficiency Criteria

8. Gross margin CY > Gross margin PY (+1)

9. Asset turnover ratio CY > Asset turnover ratio PY (+1)

If a company meets a criterion, it gets 1 point. So, a company with strong financials across all nine categories would receive a perfect score of 9, while a company with weak financials in all areas would score a 0.

Too complicated? I agree! So, let me help you make things easier!

Go to Finology Ticker’s screener and paste this query in the query box:

Net Profit Y1 > 0 AND CFO Y1 > 0 AND ROA Y1 > 0 AND Share Capital Y1 < Share Capital Y2 or Share Capital Y1 = Share Capital Y2 and Asset Turnover Y1 > Asset to Equity Y2 and GPM Y1 > GPM Y2 and Current Ratio Y1 > Current Ratio Y2 and CFO Y1 > Net Profit Y1 and Debt Y1 < Debt Y2

The companies screened would probably have a Piotroski Score =/> than 7 and are usually considered a value stock.

Easy peasy, right? No need to thank me! 🤗

Best Value Stocks in 2024

While multiple stock analysis platforms like Screener.in automatically provide a Piotroski Score for companies, these scores differ in different platforms. Hence, it won’t be advisable to rely completely on these platforms.

So, I will teach you how to find a value stock on your own based on the present fundamentals of a company. Let's begin by taking Coal India as an example.

1. Net Income

Net income can be described via different profit metrics like net earnings or profit. It is found in the P&L statement of a company's annual report. As you can see from the image below, Coal India made a profit in 2023 compared to 2022, and hence, the Piotroski Score would be 1 for this scenario.

Coal India P&L Statement
Source: Finology Ticker
Data as of March 2024

2. Return on Assets (ROA)

ROA is used to assess how effectively a company utilises its assets to generate profit. It can be calculated by using the following formula:

ROA = Net Profit / Average Total Assets

So, the ROA of Coal India for 2022 came out to be 9.86%, whereas for 2023, it was 13.58%. Then, as per Piotroski Score, Coal India gets another 1 point.

3. Cash Flow from Operations (CFO)

CFO, also known as Operating Cash Flow, is used to assess a company's financial health and ability to generate cash through its core business operations. In terms of the Piotroski Score, if a company’s CFO is greater than its preceding year, then it gets 1 score.

Coal India’s CFO for 2022 is ₹35,686.21, and for 2023, it is ₹41,107.28; hence, it scores another 1 point.

4. Earning Quality

Joseph Piotroski believed a company to be good when it maintains stable profit growth over the years as well as CFO is much higher than 1-time gains. So, the earning quality point, AKA Accruals, includes measuring CFO > Net income.

As we saw above, for Coal India, in 2023,

CFO = ₹41,107.28 and Net Income = ₹28,124.94

So, it gets 1 point.

5. Long-Term Debt

Debt is often regarded as a bad thing when it comes to a company’s fundamentals. But smart investors know that a little debt is necessary for future projects, advancements in technology, and many more.

What Piotroski wants with this assessment is that a company which shows decreasing leverage is a good bet. For this, the 5th score points check the Long-Term Debt for CY < Total Assets Ratio.

Coal India Balance Sheet
Source: Finology Ticker
Data as of March 2024

Long-term debt is usually shown as "Borrowing" in the balance sheet. As you can see from the image above,

(In ₹ Crore)

2022

2023

Long-term debt

3,301.78

4,106.25

Total Assets

1,76,109.26

2,07,029.25

%

1.87%

1.98%

Since the leverage seems to be increasing, Coal India gets a 0 point in this aspect.

6. Current Ratio

Piotroski included this pointer in the score to check whether the liquidity is increasing or decreasing. The current ratio analyses a company's ability to pay off its short-term obligations, i.e. debts due within one year with its current assets.

It is achieved by dividing Current Assets / Current Liabilities.

Coal Infia Balance Sheet
Source: Finology Ticker
Data as of March 2024

If you look at Coal India’s Balance Sheet from the image above, then the current ratio for 2022 would be 1.6%, and for 2023, it’s 1.5%. This means that the company has shown a decreasing liquidity when compared to its previous year, and hence, the score would be 0.

7. Issuance of New Shares

In this point, the Piotroski Score looks at whether a company has issued a significantly lower amount of new common equity (shares) in the current year compared to the previous year.

If a company receives a point for this criterion, it suggests that the company is funding its operations primarily through internally generated cash flow rather than by diluting existing shareholders through new stock issuance.

For Coal India, no new shares were provided for the current year, and hence, it receives 1 point.

8. Gross Margin

Gross margin measures the profitability of a company's core business operations. It essentially shows how much profit a company makes after calculating the direct costs of producing the goods or services it sells.

It can be calculated as:

Gross Margin = Gross Profit/ Sales

Coal India Cash Flow Statement
Source: Finology Ticker
Data as of March 2024

As you can see from the image above, Coal India’s Gross Margin for 2022 is 21.4%, and for 2023, it’s 27.4%. So it receives 1 point.

9. Asset Turnover Ratio

The asset turnover ratio measures how a company uses its assets (products, goods, etc.) to generate sales. In other words, it tells you how much revenue a company can generate per rupee of assets it holds.

Asset Turnover Ratio is calculated by dividing Net Sales by Average Total Assets. As we have seen in the Balance Sheet before, the asset turnover ratio for Coal India would be:

(In ₹ Crore)

2022

2023

Sales

1,09,942

1,38,507

Avg. Total Assets

1,76,110

2,07,030

Asset Turnover Ratio

0.62%

0.66%

Hence, the Score gets another point.

So, Coal India’s Piotroski Score comes out as 7. This score may differ based on the kind of screener you use. The below score is calculated using Finology Ticker’s screener. 👇

Parameters

Score

Net profit 

1

ROA (Return on Assets)

1

CFO

1

CFO > Net Income

1

Long-term debt CY< long-term debt preceding year 

0

Current ratio CY > current ratio preceding year 

0

Newly issued shares

1

Gross Margin CY> Gross Margin PY

1

Asset turnover ratio

1

F-Score

7

One thing I would like to add, the companies mentioned in the list (including Coal India) may differ based on the kind of screener you use and its fundamentals. 

Top Value Stocks in Terms of Piotroski Score:

Based on FY23 fundamentals, here are the top 10 value stocks in India in 2024:

Companies 

Piotroski F-Score

Amara Raja Energy & Mobility Ltd. 

9

KPT Industries Ltd.

9

Affle India Ltd.

8

Gillette India

9

Zydus Lifesciences Ltd.

8

Nestle India

8

Coal India

7

Birlasoft Ltd.

7

Tips Industries Ltd.

7

Granules India Ltd.

7

The Bottom Line

Including value stocks in one's investment portfolio can be a wise decision. However, it's important to note that such stocks may vary on an annual basis. Therefore, regular assessment of metrics, fundamentals, and other financial indicators is necessary. This is particularly applicable to value stocks determined using the Piotroski Score.

So, make sure to crosscheck the metrics you use for evaluating the value stocks with your financial goals and understanding.

*Disclaimer: The stocks and companies discussed above aren't a recommendation from Finology Insider and shall not be construed as a replacement for professional advice. Consult a professional or conduct the necessary research before making investment decisions.

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A book-lover who adores everything fictional, Preeti has undertaken the life mission of tasting every flavour available in the pantry. A science student with a Master's in Mass Communication, she now wishes to conquer the Finance world as a writer. With the power invested by the randomly chosen music, she is here to make Finance fun for you.

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