The 2013 All-India Research Team: Capital Goods, Third: Venkatesh Balasubramaniam

Venkatesh Balasubramaniam

First-place appearances: 0

Total appearances: 3

Analyst debut: 2011

Dropping one position back to No. 3 is Venkatesh Balasubramaniam of Citi. The analyst tracks nine stocks, garnering plaudits, in particular, for maintaining a sell rating on BGR Energy Systems as the Chennai-based power-plant-construction supplier’s sales deteriorated. Balasubramaniam, who also captures third place in Power, downgraded BGR from buy in May 2011 because he thought the shares were overpriced at 462.37 rupees. By mid-October 2013 they had traded down to 113.55 rupees, plummeting 56.7 percent in the trailing 12 months alone and underperforming the sector by 28.8 percentage points over that period. Among his favorites now is Mumbai-based heavy machinery and engineering concern Larsen & Toubro. In January he downgraded the stock from buy to neutral, at 1,058.77 rupees, because the company’s domestic order flow had been slowing. When the shares had traded down to 746.35 rupees in August, he changed tack and urged investors to buy, crediting L&T’s recent expansion in overseas projects. The stock advanced to 871.70 rupees through mid-October, gaining 16.8 percent and pacing the sector by 1.4 percentage points. “Venky has a good sense of how stocks are perceived in the market,” avers one portfolio manager. — Ben Mattlin