Mid-caps and small-caps that beat the pandemic in 2020

Even as the Nifty gave 15% returns for 2020, the Mid-cap 100 index and the Small cap 100 index delivered over 20% returns in the year.

Jan 05, 2021 07:01 IST India Infoline News Service

The story of 2020 was not just about the large caps but also about the mid caps and small caps. Even as the Nifty gave 15% returns for 2020, the Mid-cap 100 index and the Small cap 100 index delivered over 20% returns in the year. Both indices doubled from March lows.  

Data Source: NSE


Unlike the large caps where the individual stocks tend to converge more towards the mean Nifty returns, the divergence is a lot more in the case of mid caps and small caps. Here is a look at the winners that blunted the edge of the pandemic as well as the laggards, which could not recover from lower levels. Since the definition of mid caps and small caps can be too broad, we have restricted ourselves to Nifty Mid-Cap 100 and the Small-Cap 100.

Mid caps that blunted the pandemic in 2020

Company Name CMP (01-Jan) 52-Week High 52-Week Low Annual Returns
NAVINFLUOR 2,636.00 2,759.95 963.40 160.39%
ADANIENT 489.00 507.00 116.40 130.72%
ADANIGAS 376.00 389.65 76.60 112.38%
ESCORTS 1,288.50 1,452.65 526.05 107.92%
MINDTREE 1,657.90 1,682.85 692.00 104.54%
SYNGENE 630.80 644.55 212.55 98.45%
IPCALAB 2,179.85 2,460.00 1,111.00 92.28%
APLLTD 1,040.00 1,145.00 434.80 87.72%
IDEA 11.30 13.50 2.70 74.59%
SAIL 74.50 75.75 20.15 72.73%
Data Source: NSE

Navin Fluorine was the clear leader among the mid caps, supported by a sharp turnaround in demand for specialty chemicals. The pandemic highlighted the risks of depending too much on China for supply chain fulfilment. Navin was the obvious gainer.

Almost all the Adani group companies across capitalization classes did extremely well in 2020. Even as Escorts benefited from robust Kharif output and farm incomes, Syngene and IPCA Labs were clear gainers from the battle against COVID. The surprise package was SAIL, which gained from resurgence in China and domestic steel demand.

Mid caps that failed to recover in 2020

Company Name CMP (01-Jan) 52-Week High 52-Week Low Annual Returns
FRETAIL 79.15 382.30 60.70 -76.89%
YESBANK 18.05 87.30 5.65 -61.74%
M&MFIN 179.15 245.91 76.46 -47.37%
UNIONBANK 32.15 55.60 22.65 -42.16%
CANBK 133.80 229.80 73.65 -41.82%
EDELWEISS 69.05 124.70 30.15 -37.85%
RBLBANK 231.10 372.40 101.55 -33.60%
BANKINDIA 50.00 71.75 30.40 -30.87%
IBULHSGFIN 221.60 361.00 81.00 -29.55%
OIL 108.80 159.80 63.50 -29.43%
Data Source: NSE

Just as there were winners in the mid-cap space in 2020, there were laggards too. The biggest chunk of laggards in the mid cap space were the PSU banks. It included Bank of India, Canara Bank and Union Bank; where asset stress was heightened by the pandemic. The merger integration also became a major challenge.

In the private banking space, RBL Bank was under stress even as Yes Bank still struggles after the crisis of March. Then there were specific stories. Future Retail struggled under a pile of debt while Edelweiss was battling a variety of allegations. Oil India reacted to the oil price crash and the fire at its Baghjan oilfield in Assam dampened sentiments further.

Small caps that blunted the pandemic in 2020

Company Name CMP (01-Jan) 52-Week High 52-Week Low Annual Returns
IOLCP 751.00 898.90 146.30 332.34%
DIXON 13,601.10 13,909.85 2,990.60 255.17%
INDIAMART 7,080.40 7,655.00 1,641.05 211.23%
GRANULES 359.90 437.95 114.10 188.88%
DEEPAKNTR 998.90 999.00 310.00 151.33%
FSL 100.30 115.40 20.10 145.47%
STAR 881.80 928.00 268.00 142.87%
CDSL 531.00 566.40 179.80 140.35%
JBCHEPHARM 1,034.50 1,149.90 415.00 136.81%
AFFLE 3,870.20 4,072.45 899.25 134.70%
Data Source: NSE

The small cap had some interesting stock-specific stories in 2020. Dixon was the big gainer from the Atma Nirbhar Bharat program. Indiamart reinforced its position in the midst of the lockdown facilitating B2B transactions. Granules and Strides play a big role in the fight against COVID and that was reflected in performance.

An unlikely small-cap star was CDSL, which spurted as over 75 lakh demat accounts got added in the pandemic. The falling yields on debt turned into a clear vote in favour of direct equities and it was game-set-match CDSL.

Small caps that failed to recover in 2020

Company Name CMP (01-Jan) 52-Week High 52-Week Low Annual Returns
IRCON 87.55 119.80 58.00 -78.77%
OMAXE 82.05 222.10 59.50 -46.87%
LEMONTREE 41.75 64.25 14.05 -36.41%
EQUITAS 68.50 120.70 32.50 -35.94%
DCBBANK 120.25 204.50 58.00 -32.36%
PVR 1,341.90 2,103.96 711.19 -30.52%
UJJIVANSFB 39.65 58.20 23.10 -25.92%
INOXLEISUR 286.30 511.80 158.40 -25.81%
GODFRYPHLP 989.00 1,481.75 732.00 -24.83%
KARURVYSYA 45.90 61.00 18.75 -23.56%
Data Source: NSE

Smaller banks, SFBs and MFIs had serious problems of collections and the real picture could be a lot worse when the moratorium was lifted. This included Karur Vysya Bank, Ujjivan Small Finance Bank, DCB Bank and Equitas.

Then there were direct losers from the lockdown; Inox Leisure, PVR, Lemontree and IRCON. After all, with a ban on travel, entertainment and lodging, these stocks were the standard suspects to lose value.

Year 2020 has been a lot more interesting for mid-caps and small-caps as they finally exorcised the ghosts of 2018, when the mid cap correction first began. Whether this rally sustains; will be the big story to watch in 2021!

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