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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What I like about CRISIL IER Reports

Concerned by the lack of analyst coverage on most stocks, NSE(National Stock Exchange) decided to commission CRISIL to cover selected stocks on an ongoing basis. Unlike conventional equity research reports, these reports do not give an explicit 'BUY'/'SELL' recomendation. Then what use is it you may ask? Well, the merits of this approach versus conventional equity research reports are
  • Transparency:-It is an open secret that the lesser known brokerage houses(and indeed some of the bigger ones) seek a quid pro quo from the companies in return for covering then. CRISIL does IER either by commissioned by the exchange(NSE/BSE) or if commissioned by the company. The latter approach is non mandatory and may lead to conflict of interest as in credit rating model, but atleast the payer is explicitly disclosed upfront
  • Differentiates between fundamentals and valuations:-CRISIL analyzes the companies on two parts-quality of fundamentals and valuation upside(viz Fair Value v/s Market Price). That is better than mixing the two up.
  • Good environment analysis-competition etc:-This section is amazingly done in general.
  • Corporate governance/risks:-CRISIL IER reports pull no punches when it comes to the corporate governance, contingent liabilities and risk management section.
  • Track Record:- The reports give the history of the past reports mentioning their fundamental grade(and then calculated fair value) along with valuation grade(and the then CMP[current market price]). Hence, an investor can eyeball that track record and see how the fair value as calculated by CRISIL, has moved with the market price. 
  • Freely downloadable:- Unlike other equity reports which are first shown to certain customers first, CRISIL releases all reports at the same time to all investors, which are freely downloadable.
  • Response to queries:-Retail investors rarely have access to the analysts. But in this case, the CRISIL analysts are available on email(I did not try to call them though!) and do respond to queries promptly.
I've read reports from quite a few brokerage houses, and can say that the quality of these reports is certainly up there with the best. You may not get earth shaking insights, but certainly these reports cut investor risk substantially for stocks less tracked. While most of this may be already available in the detailed credit report, these are often not publicly available. 

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