Best Metal Stocks in India

Best Metal Stocks in India
Best Metal Stocks in India

by Tanushree Jaiswal Last Updated: Mar 13, 2024 - 12:13 pm 983 Views
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The resilience of Indian metal sector can be gauged from the fact that Nifty Metal index has grown in double digits in past two years. The index grew 22% in 2022 and nearly 20% last year. This performance came despite threats of cheaper imports from China and benign commodity prices. 

While many analysts expect the juggernaut to carry on in 2024, others have sounded a caution amid some headwinds to the global economy. However, some of these global headwinds may actually benefit the Indian metal sector as the government may step in to help the local industry and Indian companies may gain from cost competitiveness.   

What are Metal Stocks?

There are many companies in India that are involved in mining of ores and making metals out of them. These are collectively known as metal stocks. Some of the bigger sectors in metals are iron ore and steel, zinc, copper, nickel, aluminium, manganese, etc. India has many listed companies in the metal sector, especially steel.  

Overview of Metal Industry

The Indian government has already spelt its reliance on infrastructure spending to pivot the economy. This augurs well for the metal industry of India that has seen heavy capital expenditure by incumbents over the past decade. 
Steel: India is one of the largest producers of steel in the world with many big integrated steel plants and also small producers that mostly are in scrap recycling. India steel production reached 125 million tonnes in FY23, and the government plans to scale this to 300 MT. 

Aluminum: India has abundant reserves of bauxite, the primary raw material for aluminum. The country also has enough plants to make the metal, both from the ore as well as from recycled materials. India’s aluminium output was at 35.03 lakh tonne in FY23, down from 40.32 lakh tonne in FY22. However performance of top aluminium producers in the past three quarters shows there would have been rebound in FY24. 

Copper: The Indian copper industry comprises mining, smelting, and refining operations. Imports form a big chunk of India copper consumption as the country is not self-sufficient in the metal’s production. India’s refined copper production was at 5.55 lakh tonnes in FY23. According to rating agency ICRA domestic refined copper demand growth is expected to remain healthy at 11% in FY24 and FY25. 

Other metals: India also produces zinc, lead, nickel, and precious metals like gold and silver. These industries are smaller compared to steel and aluminum but play a crucial role in different sectors.

Why Invest in Metal Stocks?

India is the fastest growing large economy in the world, making its domestic consumption a big factor in buying metal stocks. A captive market, combined with the government’s push to expand local production are all set to lift India’s metal sector.   

Here are some of the key reasons for investing in metal stocks: 

Infra push: Infrastructure is the biggest consumer of metals such as steel and copper. The Indian government has embarked on massive infrastructure drive to drive economic growth. This augurs well for all metal stocks of the country.

Economic Growth: India's rapid economic growth create a substantial demand for metals. The government's focus on projects like smart cities, housing for all, and improved transportation networks can drive demand for steel, aluminum, copper, and other metals.

Export demand: Due to cost competitiveness, many metal companies of India have a substantial pie of the export market.  

Government policies: Initiatives like "Make in India" and increased focus on domestic manufacturing can positively impact the metal sector. Policies supporting the mining and metal industry can lead to growth and profitability for companies in this sector.

Dividend Yields: Metal companies, especially well-established ones, often offer attractive dividend yields, which can be a steady income stream for investors.

Top 10 Metal Stocks to Invest in India

Tata Steel: India’s oldest steel maker and still one of the biggest has seen a turnaround in fortunes since its efforts to delink loss-making European operations. 
The stock price is above short-, medium- and long-term moving averages and near 52-week high. The stock has also seen positive breakout from the first resistance. 

Hindustan Zinc: India’s largest zinc producer, the Vedanta-group company has been on an expansion mode. 
The stock has seen improvement in RoCE and ROE over the past two years. The company’s cash flow has also improved. However, Vedanta’s efforts to extract the company’s cash flow to resolve the parent company’s issues can be a red flag. 

JSW Steel: India’s second largest private sector steel company, JSW Steel still has lot of dry powder left for expansion and acquisition.
The stock has seen increased interest from FPIs and also a positive breakout from first resistance.  

NMDC: The largest producer of iron ore in India, NMDC also has capacity to produce copper and many other minerals. 
The stock price above short-, medium- and long-term moving averages, with increased interest from FPIs. It has also seen a positive breakout from first resistance.  

Hindalco: A diversified metal company and one of India’s largest aluminium producer, Hindalco operates 47 units in 10 countries.
The stock has seen increased interest from FPIs and its book value per share has been improving for the last two years. It has also seen a positive breakout from first resistance, earning upgrades from brokers.  

Jindal Steel & Power: The company has seen a big turnaround after lying on the brink of bankruptcy for a long time. It had to sell many of its marquee business to return to black, but it has done the job well.
The stock price is rice above short-, medium- and long-term moving averages and near 52-week high. The company has low debt now and the promoter is also bringing down share pledge. 

SAIL: One of India’s pioneers in steelmaking, SAIL managed to turnaround its fortunes in the past few decades by cutting operations in loss-making units and modernising the rest. 
The stock has seen increased interest from FPI, has low debt and has seen positive breakout from first resistance. Brokers have also upgraded the target on the stock’s price.

NALCO: One of the largest aluminium producers of the country, the public sector giant owns integrated bauxite–alumina–aluminium–power complex. This lends the company a competitive advantage over peers.
The stock price is rice above short-, medium- and long-term moving averages and near 52-week high.

Vedanta: India’s most diversified metal company, the Anil Agarwal-led company has presence in zinc, copper, iron ore, oil, steel, power, ferro chrome, nickel and aluminium.   Despite trouble with debt, the stock has seen increased interest from FPIs. However, high promoter pledge continues to plague it. The stock’s fortune will depend on the company’s ability to pay back debt. 

The steelmaker has been expanding its production capacity that has now reach 3 million tonnes a year. It has two stainless steel manufacturing facilities in India, one each in Odisha and Haryana.  
The stock has seen its highest recovery from 52-week low. The company has low debt and promoter pledge has also fallen. Jindal Stainless:Thanks to the rise in steel prices, the company’s financials have also improved.  

Factors to Consider Before Investing in Metal related Stocks in India

Financials: Check the fundamentals of the metal company that you plan to invest in carefully. The company’s balance sheet and cash flow statement need careful analysed for debt, promoter share pledge, free cash etc. 

Technical: If the valuation of a metal company is already very high, then one should be careful about investing in it. One should also look at other factors such as moving averages, support and resistance for each stock before investment decision.

Policy issues: Metal prices can be influenced by various policy measures of the government like customs duty, export duty, anti-dumping duty, production sops etc.  

Raw materials: Availability and prices of raw material can be one of the key factors for financials of a metal company and hence its stock price. 

Overseas movement: Metal prices in India are mostly linked to prices prevailing on the London Stock Exchange. Hence any international metal prices have great bearing on metal stocks in India. 

Performance Overview of Metal Stocks List

Name CMP Rs. Mar Cap Rs.Cr. 1Yr return % ROCE % CMP / BV Debt / Eq ROE % EPS 12M Rs. P/E Div Yld % Prom. Hold. %
JSW Steel 818.95 200270.44 13.34 8.33 2.71   1.11 5.64  45.99 18.52 0.42 44.81
Tata Steel 135.8 166997.79 12.53 12.63 1.85
 
1.01
 
7.28
 
-2.74
 
86.36
 
2.65
 
33.7
 
S A I L 122.6 50640.26 33.77 5.89 0.88
 
0.55
 
3.57
 
7.79
 
15.18
 
1.24
 
65
 
Jindal Stain. 578.7 47652.16 124.56 20.77
 
3.62
 
0.43
 
19.14
 
36.17
 
16.83
 
0.26
 
58.69
 
Vedanta 268.4 99769.84 -19.9 21.18
 
3.15
 
2.38
 
20.38
 
12.78
 
20.07
 
37.82
 
63.71
 
NMDC 221.45 64898.28 78.4 30.22
 
2.67
 
0.09
 
23
 
20
 
12.95
 
2.97
 
60.79
 
JSW Steel 819 200282.67 13.34 8.33
 
2.71
 
1.11
 
5.64
 
45.99
 
18.52
 
0.42
 
44.81
 
Hindustan Zinc 317.85 134301.81 -4.45
50.39
 
9.79
 
0.84
 
44.49
 
19.72
 
16.14
 
23.76
 
64.92
 
Hindalco Inds. 574.1 129012.7 21.53 11.34
 
1.29
 
0.59
 
11.67
 
37.48
 
15.36
 
0.52
 
34.64
 
Natl. Aluminium 149.95 27540.29 74.69 15.13
 
2.03
 
0.01
 
11.96
 
7.36
 
20.4
 
2.99
 
51.28
 

Conclusion

The consumption story of India in itself is a compelling reason to start looking for good metal stocks to invest in. The export opportunity is an added benefit. The Indian metal industry, bolstered by the country's rapid industrialization and infrastructural development, offers potential for growth and profitability. But investors must be careful and ensure that the stocks they are investing into checks all the boxes.

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About the Author

Tanushree is a seasoned professional with 6 years of experience in the Fintech and Edtech industry.

Disclaimer

Investment/Trading in securities Market is subject to market risk, past performance is not a guarantee of future performance. The risk of loss in trading and investment in Securities markets including Equites and Derivatives can be substantial.
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