Is Pochiraju Industries Limited (NSE:POCHIRAJU) Still A Cheap Consumer Discretionary Stock?

Pochiraju Industries Limited (NSEI:POCHIRAJU), a ₹121.95M small-cap, operates in the consumer staples sector, which has been a consistent performer over time due to its robust consumer demand throughout economic cycles. However, the key uncertainty facing the food product industry specifically is around the change in consumer taste and growth in customer expectation from food producers. The demand is still there but the game is changing – pressure for organic, sustainably sourced, ethically traded and healthy food is growing, spurred by millennials and more conscious consumers. Consumer staple analysts are forecasting for the entire industry, a strong double-digit growth of 14.67% in the upcoming year . Is the food product industry an attractive sector-play right now? Today, I will analyse the industry outlook, and also determine whether Pochiraju Industries is a laggard or leader relative to its consumer staples sector peers. See our latest analysis for Pochiraju Industries

What’s the catalyst for Pochiraju Industries’s sector growth?

NSEI:POCHIRAJU Past Future Earnings Jan 29th 18
NSEI:POCHIRAJU Past Future Earnings Jan 29th 18
Changing tastes in consumer preferences is becoming more disruptive than that of industry competitors. Many consumers now prefer to buy whole, raw ingredients and prepare more of their meals at home. Furthermore, companies that are now emerging are latching on these trends with efficient business models. In the past year, the industry delivered growth in the teens, beating the Indian market growth of 13.52%. Pochiraju Industries lags the pack with its sustained negative earnings over the past couple of years. The company’s outlook seems uncertain, with a lack of analyst coverage, which doesn’t boost our confidence in the stock. This lack of growth and transparency means Pochiraju Industries may be trading cheaper than its peers.

Is Pochiraju Industries and the sector relatively cheap?

NSEI:POCHIRAJU PE PEG Gauge Jan 29th 18
NSEI:POCHIRAJU PE PEG Gauge Jan 29th 18
Food product companies are typically trading at a PE of 25.5x, relatively similar to the rest of the Indian stock market PE of 28.1x. This means the industry, on average, is fairly valued compared to the wider market – minimal expected gains and losses from mispricing here. However, the industry returned a higher 11.91% compared to the market’s 9.78%, potentially illustrative of past tailwinds. Since Pochiraju Industries’s earnings doesn’t seem to reflect its true value, its PE ratio isn’t very useful. A loose alternative to gauge Pochiraju Industries’s value is to assume the stock should be relatively in-line with its industry.

Next Steps:

Pochiraju Industries recently delivered an industry-beating growth rate in earnings, which is a positive for shareholders. If the stock has been on your watchlist for a while, now may be the time to buy, if you like its ability to deliver growth and are not highly concentrated in the consumer staples industry. However, before you make a decision on the stock, I suggest you look at Pochiraju Industries’s fundamentals in order to build a holistic investment thesis.