The sugar business is cyclical and weather dependent. To make matters worse, policies and prices are subject to frequent interference by the government.
That makes the business unpredictable, and I stay far away from it. But a young, risk-taking trader interested in making quick gains may find sugar stocks attractive.
The 2 years closing chart pattern of Balarampur Chini clearly reflects the cyclical nature of the sugar business. How cyclical? A look at the net profit figures of the past 5 years should suffice.
For year ending Mar '11 and Mar '13, net profit crossed Rs 160 Crores. For year ending Mar '12 and Mar '14, net profit was Rs 6.6 Crores and Rs 3.6 Crores respectively. For year ending Mar '15, there was a net loss of Rs 58 Crores.
Debt/Equity ratio is 1.43. High interest expenses continue to affect the bottom line. In other words, fundamentals do not warrant long-term investment.
But have a look at the returns that a trader could have made. From a low of 36.80 touched on Jan 31 '14 to a high of 85.15 touched on Jun 23 '14, the stock gave 130% return in less than 6 months.
A 15 months long bear phase followed (marked by the blue down trend line). The stock dropped to a closing low of 38.90 on Jun 16 '15 - giving up almost all its gain in one year, but providing good trading opportunities.
After forming a 'double bottom' reversal pattern (marked B1 and B2), the stock price embarked on another bull rally, touching a 2 years high of 87.85 on Jan 13 '16 - giving 120% return in less than 5 months from the low of 39.60 (B2) touched on Aug 31 '15.
The stock is trading well above its rising 200 day EMA in a bull market, but such a sharp rally is unsustainable.
All four daily technical indicators are looking overbought and a couple of them are showing negative divergences by failing to touch new highs with the stock price.
Get ready for another stomach-churning roller coaster ride. Like I said, not really my cup of tea.