After the strong performance over the last several weeks, Indian equities took a breather last week, with benchmark indices shedding over a per cent. Profit taking by institutional investors, particularly foreign investors, dragged the markets last week. However, several stocks managed to outperform the market and ended the week with good gains.

Central Bank of India

Interestingly, several public sector banks figured in the top gainers’ list. Leading the pack was the stock of Central Bank of India, gaining a whopping 30 per cent in the last five trading sessions. The rally came on the back of appointment of Malladi Venkat Murali Krishna as Executive Director of the bank. Prior to this appointment, Murali Krishna was heading Corporate and Institutional credit at Bank of Baroda. This is possibly seen as a positive move by the investors, as they expect the new leadership to pursue growth aggressively. The appointment will be valid for a period of three years from December 1, 2022.

The bank had been a clear laggard, along with the PSU bank pack, in terms of stock performance, over the last two months. This is despite strong performance in the September 2022 quarter, wherein the bank reported a revenue growth of 12 per cent and a net profit of ₹344 crore, implying a 69.5 per cent growth. The stock currently trades about one time its current book value.

Other public sector banks that figured in the top 5 gainers’ list include Bank of India and Indian Overseas Bank, gaining 12.6 per cent and 12.4 per cent, respectively.

YES Bank

Second in the gainers’ list last week was YES Bank, gaining 13.2 per cent in the last five sessions. The bank secured conditional approval from the RBI for capital raise and has hence decided to firm up its private equity capital raise from Carlyle Group and Verventa Holdings, an affiliate of funds managed by Advent International. The stock zoomed over 11 per cent on Friday to a 52-week high of ₹20.5 apiece and closed at ₹19.7 apiece.

In the September 2022 quarter, the company posted a revenue growth of 17 per cent and an interest income growth of 10 per cent to ₹3,483 crore. However, higher costs ate into the company’s net profit which declined by 32 per cent to ₹153 crore. The stock currently trades about 1.5 times its book value.

JK Lakshmi

The stock of cement manufacturer JK Lakshmi was the other outperformer last week, with a 12.8 per cent gain over the last five trading sessions. Interestingly, cement stocks have been in focus in the last 2-3 months, and several of them have made neat gains. For instance, the stock price of JK Lakshmi has doubled since June 2022, and gained over 30 per cent in the last three weeks.

Moderation in the costs of raw material, power, and fuel, with falling pet coke prices should help cement players improve their margins in the subsequent quarters. In the September 2022 quarter, despite about 14 per cent in revenue, operating profit and net profit declined by 29 per cent. The stock currently trades about 23 times its trailing 12-month earnings.