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Domestic brokerage and research firm Axis Securities continues its positive long-term outlook on the market, supported by a favourable structure emerging with increasing Capex enabling banks to improve credit growth. 

The brokerage has maintained its Nifty March 2023 target to 18,400 by valuing it at 20x on FY24 earnings vs. 22x earlier. “We cut the Nifty multiple to accommodate the rising interest rate scenario. We believe, though aggressive policy tightening will help in curbing inflationary pressure, persistently elevated oil and commodity prices would continue to pose challenges to the market multiple in the next few quarters," the note stated. 

The current India VIX is trading around LTA levels and the clear trend is likely to emerge only after the volatility stays at the lower levels for a longer time. Keeping these developments and overall weaker global cues in view, the brokerage expects expect the market performance to remain range-bound in the near term.

Based on the above themes, Axis Securities top stock picks with buy ratings are ICICI Bank with target price of 1,000, Bajaj Auto (TP: 4,200), Tech Mahindra (TP: 1,700), Maruti Suzuki India (TP: 9,800), State Bank of India or SBI (TP: 665), Bharti Airtel (TP: 900), Cipla (TP: 1,125).

Federal Bank (TP: 115), Varun Beverages (TP: 880), Ashok Leyland (TP: 164), Astral Ltd (India) (TP: 1,900), Bata India (TP: 2,200), APL Apollo Tubes (TP: 1,100), HealthCare Global Enterprises (TP: 330), Praj Industries (TP: 477), CCL Products (India) (TP: 560), are also part of its top recommendations.

“A cumulative net profit of NSE 500 universe for the last 4 quarters reached all-time high levels (crossed 9.5 Lc Cr in Q4FY22). Financials, Oil & Gas, Metals, and IT are now contributing 70% of the NSE 500 profitability. We foresee FY23/24 Nifty EPS at 826/920, marginally down 2%/unchanged respectively after Q4FY22 earning season. Our estimates are on the conservative side and 9% below the consensus estimates," the note added.

The views and recommendations made above are those of individual analysts or broking companies, and not of Mint.

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