Complete Guide to Indian Railway Sector and Top Railway Stocks in India 2024

by Alina Khan, Siddharth Singh Bhaisora

Published On Sept. 21, 2023

In this article

India has the 4th largest railway network, behind the US, Russia and China. The backbone of Indian infrastructure and economic development for over 160 years, the initial investments made in railway stocks in India have enabled access from major cities to remote far off villages - playing a pivotal part in the lives of millions of Indians for daily transport. The railway industry caters to the transportation of both passengers and cargo through extensive rail networks.

Indian Railway stretches over 126,366km with 7,335 stations - with 5,243km of track laid and commissioned in FY23 compared to 2,909kms in FY22. Essentially average daily track laying is 14.36 kms per day - which is the highest every commissioning for Indian Railways. It provides employment to over 1.4 million individuals, solidifying its status as the largest employer in India, and 8th largest employer in the world. Indian Railways runs 13,523 passenger trains and 9,146 freight trains on a daily basis.

Its profound influence on the economy is evident in the 2023-2024 Union Budget, which allocates a substantial sum of Rs. 2.40 lakh crore for revitalizing railway infrastructure. Additionally, the remarkable surge in Nifty, surpassing the 20,000 mark in September, propelled railway stocks to impressive gains, resulting in double-digit growth within just one month. Let’s look at the Indian Railway Sector in depth and look at railway stocks in India.

Historic Boost for Indian Railways Sector in Union Budget 2023

In the FY22 Budget, Indian Railway Sector was allocated Rs 1,40,367.13 crore, marking an increase from the preceding year. Additionally, Rs 38,686.59 crore was set aside for investments in PSUs, joint ventures, and special purpose vehicles.

The Narendra Modi-led government, on the brink of its tenure with the 2024 general elections around the corner, presented a record-breaking allocation for the Indian Railway Sector. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on February 1, unveiled a 75% surge in the railway budget. Here are the key highlights from the 2023-24 Budget for the Indian Railways:

  1. The Union Budget allocated a substantial Rs 2.40 lakh crore as capital investment for the Indian Railways Sector - a significant increase. A marked increase of 1.03 Lakh crore compared to the previous year's Rs 1.40 lakh crore, and 9x the amount spent in 2013-14.

  2. Railway receipts are projected at Rs 2,65,000 crore for BE 2023-24, a growth from the previous year's Rs 2,42,892.77 crore. The capital expenditure's total outlay is Rs 2,60,200 crore

  3. The budget earmarked for the reimbursement of losses on operation of strategic lines has decreased from Rs 2,461.90 crore in RE 2022-23 to Rs 487.51 crore in BE 2023-24.

  4. A sum of Rs 780 crore has been set aside in BE 2023-24 for debt servicing related to market borrowings for national projects.

  5. The current budget also dedicated Rs 15,710.44 crore to the dedicated freight corridor (DFC), with asset monetization plans for operations and maintenance by the Indian Railways.

  6. The Finance Minister highlighted 100 critical transport infrastructure projects focused on enhancing connectivity for coal, fertiliser, and food grain sectors. These projects are estimated to cost Rs 75,000 crore, of which Rs 15,000 crore will be sourced privately.

The revenue source for the railways includes passenger and freight traffic, leasing of railway land, central government support, and extra-budgetary resources. The major chunk of the internal revenue (69%) is predicted to come from freight, 24% from passenger traffic, and the remaining 7% from other diverse channels like parcel services and platform ticket sales.

Operational expenses of the railways, covering salaries, pensions, and asset maintenance, are addressed through its internal resources. Capital expenses, on the other hand, are managed through multiple channels: internal resources, central government support, and extra-budgetary resources.

There is also a strong push for the Make In India Initiative for high-speed trains and incomplete railway projects. The government's PLI scheme aims to incentivize local train component manufacturing and reduce import dependency. Expectations indicate that capital expenditures for the railway system will continue to rise in the coming years, positioning it as a critical driver of national economic growth.

Major Developments in Indian Railway Sector

1. Electrification of Indian Railways:

By the end of June 2023, Indian Railways accomplished an impressive feat, achieving over 90% (59,096 RKM) electrification of its broad-gauge routes, aiming to achieve 100% (65,350 RKM) by the end of 2023.

  1. Expected annual energy savings of ₹15,000 crore.

  2. 6,542 RKMs achieved electrification in 2022-23, and 6 zonal railways have been completely electrified.

  3. Electrification of Indian Railways started in 1948 with around 22,000 RKM electrified. From FY18 onwards there has been an aggressive push to electrify hitting 6,000 RKM per year over the last 3 years.

  4. Railway Kilometer counts the distance, regardless of the number of tracks. Hence, a double or triple track route would have the same RKM value as a single-track route between the same two points

2. Upgrading Indian Railway Stations:

  1. Redevelopment of 508 railway stations across India as part of the Amrit Bharat Station Scheme which is expected to cost around ₹24,470 cr.

  2. The redevelopment aims to improve convenience, comfort, ease of living and ensure an integrated sense of local cultural/ heritage connections

  3. 6,089 railway stations have been equipped with Wi-Fi.

3. Upgrading Passenger Trains:

Vande Bharat Express trains have significantly improved speed and passenger convenience, with top speeds of 160-180 km/h. There is a strong government push to build the high speed rail corridor

  1. These trains will reduce journey times by 25% to 45%.

  2. Plans include the construction of 400 new-generation Vande Bharat Express trains over the next three years

  3. Additional funding allocated for sleeper-class Vande Bharat 2.0.

  4. 12 Vande Bharat Express and 4 Tejas Express services were operational as of July 2023.

  5. Budget 2023 for Indian Railways had a strong push on Make In India Initiative for high-speed trains and incomplete railway projects

4. Green Energy in Indian Railways:

As part of the Indian Railways push to transition out of coal and diesel to cleaner, green fuels-

  1. Indian Railways aims to become the largest green railway network globally.

  2. It has solarized over 1,000 stations.

  3. Hydrogen for Heritage is an initiative to use new hydrogen fuel cells to power trains - 35 trains are planned to be introduced under this initiative to promote green energy and minimize impact of harmful pollutants.

  4. By 2030, Indian Railways aims to be Net Zero Carbon Emitter and has signed an MoU with USAID to improve Indian Railways’ long term energy planning needs, identifying clear energy solutions and enabling sustainable infrastructure development.

5. Safety Improvements in Indian Railways:

Kavach, an indigenous railway protection system, also known as a Train Collision Avoidance System is currently being phased in by the Indian Railways.

  1. When activated it will stop all trains within a 5km radius. This automated system eliminates the need for human intervention via loco-pilots to identify cautionary signs and signals.

  2. This integrated system also provides regular data enhancing communication across the entire Indian Railway network.

  3. The progress has been slow, with only Kavach being deployed on the South Central Railway for 1,465 route kilometers with 121 locomotives as of August, 2023.

  4. Work is underway on the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah segments (3,000 RKM).

  5. Indian Railways is planning and going to launch Kavach tenders for another 6,000 RKM to cover all high density routes first.

  6. Between April 1 to August 31, 2023 Indian Railways has spent 54% more as capital expenditure for improving passenger safety

6. Indian Railways' Dedicated Freight Corridors for India’s Energy Security

Majority of coal transportation stems from eastern states like Odisha, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh, with destinations primarily in northern, western, and southeastern parts of India. Establishment of exclusive railway tracks dedicated to coal movement and aligning them to the Dedicated Freight Corridors.

  1. By 2030, India's energy needs are expected to skyrocket to approximately 3,000 billion units (BU) annually. With the population estimated at 1.51 billion by 2030, the per capita energy consumption may be around 2,000 units annually.

  2. Expect a major rise in coal consumption, reaching up to 1,853 million tonnes (mt) by 2030 to meet energy demands

  3. 6 Dedicated Freight Corridors to setup

  4. Indian Railways has identified 615 priority projects to meet India’s transport and energy security needs:

    1. Super-critical-I Projects: 132 projects set for completion by fiscal year 2024-25.

    2. Super-critical-II Projects: 184 projects targeting completion by fiscal year 2026-27.

    3. Critical Projects: 299 projects scheduled for completion by fiscal year 2027-28.

7. Freight Loading Mixed View, But is Up in 2023:

Freight loading’s share of freight transport market share has been declining due to decreasing speed and efficiency. Rail freight costs are the lowest at ₹1.6/tonne-km, the Indian Railways' freight basket is heavily dependent on a limited range of commodities, causing vulnerability. Obsolete technology, complex regulations, lack of flexibility, and last-mile connectivity challenges impede growth. However, improvements in Indian Infrastructure can improve freight loading’s market share.

  1. In FY 2022-23, the Railways registered the highest ever freight loading of 1,512 MT, surpassing the previous record of 1,400 MT in FY 2021-22.

  2. Indian Railways recorded a freight loading of 634.66 MT, marking an increase from the 620.88 MT in the same period the previous year. In August 2023 specifically, Indian Railways registered a loading of 126.95 MT, which is 6.38% higher than the 119.33 MT in August 2022.

  3. Significant growth of 26% in automobile transportation via rail with a 24.5% jump in earnings from this segment.

  4. Loading for all commodities such as iron ore, fertilizer, coal, petroleum, oil, cement etc are all up with moderate to high year-on-year growth

  5. Vision 2024 by the Indian Railways aims to achieve 2,024 MT freight loading by 2024.

  6. As part of the National Rail Plan, Indian Railways aims to augment the modal share of Railways in freight from the current 27% to 45% by 2030.

Other notable developments in Indian Railway include progress on doubling railway tracks between various locations across the country, and improving connectivity in North East India.

Top Reasons to Invest in Indian Railway Stocks

Indian Railway Sector will continue to see increased participation from private investors, given 100% FDI is allowed with nearly $1.23 Bn already invested over the last 23 years. The railway sector aims to contribute approximately 1.5% to India’s GDP by enhancing infrastructure to manage 45% of the economy’s modal freight share. Here are a few reasons to consider investing in Top Indian Railway Stocks:

1. Government Backing for Indian Railway Sector

The Indian government's commitment to develop and enhance India’s transportation infrastructure is evident through the substantial increase in budgetary allocation for railways and several key developments as mentioned above. This solidifies railway stocks in India as a dependable investment, instilling confidence in the sector's growth prospects.

2. Revenue Pipeline Visibility

Projects slated for FY 2023-24 encompass a wide spectrum, ranging from the introduction of domestically manufactured hydrogen trains to doubling railway lines over 2,800 km, gauge conversion spanning 150 km, and the construction of new lines covering 600 km. Notably, major stations like New Delhi, Mumbai, and Kanpur are set to undergo upgrades, with 1,275 stations in total slated for improvements (508 will be under the Amrit Bharat Station Scheme). This means several key project tenders, bids and opportunities for railway stocks in India to grab projects, build strong revenue pipelines and

3. Rising Passenger Traffic:

With a rise in population and urbanization, passenger traffic is set to increase - by 2031, railway passenger traffic is projected to reach 12 Bn per year. Rising passenger expectations means Indian Railways are focused on revamping over 1,000 coaches on premier trains such as Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto, Humsafar, and Tejas. And introducing new machines with a focus on modernized interiors aiming to enhance passenger comfort and satisfaction, and potentially driving increased demand for railway services.

4. Track Renewal Commitment:

As the high-speed Vande Bharat trains are being launched on several tracks - allocation for track renewal has seen a notable increase, rising from Rs 15,388.05 crore in RE 2022-23 to Rs 17,296.84 crore this year. This underscores the railways' dedication to safety and maintenance, both critical factors for the long-term sustainability of the railway sector.

5. Shift in Freight towards Railways:

With a rise in population and urbanization, freight traffic is also set to soar. By 2031, estimated freight demand is 8 MT. Six high-capacity, high-speed corridors will help move freight traffic quickly and cost-effectively.

With all of this, the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan will not just boost and promote manufacturing in India, it will also lead to investments in the manufacturing, maintenance etc of Indian Railways and also result in transportation of cargo all of which will also indirectly boost railway traffic. Railway stocks in India are traditionally considered long-term investments due to the time-intensive nature of building and maintaining railway infrastructure. This characteristic provides investors with an opportunity to participate in a sector poised for steady, long-term growth.

Top Indian Railway Stocks of 2023

Top Railway Stocks #1 - Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation (IRCTC)

IRCTC is known for its packaged drinking water, internet ticketing, travel and tourism, and catering and hospitality services across stations, on trains, and at various locations. IRCTC Q1 FY24 performance breakdown:

  1. Revenue from Operations: Revenue saw a healthy growth of 17% YoY, reaching ₹1,001 crore from ₹852.6 crore. This showcases that despite the drop in net profit, the company was successful in increasing its operational revenue.

  2. Catering Segment: The revenue from the catering segment demonstrated a robust increase of 35% YoY to ₹471 crore. This is a significant jump and indicates that despite overall profit decline, the catering business of IRCTC has shown strong resilience.

  3. Rail Neer Segment: There was a modest 10% increase in this segment, from ₹87 crore to ₹96 crore. This growth, though not substantial, reflects a steady demand for Rail Neer.

  4. EBITDA and Margins: The EBITDA witnessed a growth of 6.9% YoY, coming in at ₹343 crore. However, the margins reduced from 37.6% in the previous year to 34.2%. This reduction in margins, even with an increase in EBITDA, might indicate higher operational costs or other expenses that the company had to bear during the quarter.

IRCTC also has a relatively low debt-to-equity ratio with a high interest coverage ratio. IRCTC is working on building and operating budget hotels across the country which fits well with their existing capabilities, and has committed around Rs.500 cr for the 1st phase. Given the broader positive sentiment around the railway sector and the fact that the company still managed to grow its revenues, the decline in net profit might be a temporary blip for IRCTC.

Top Railway Stocks #2 - Indian Railway Finance Corporation

Indian Railway Finance Corporation is actively involved in lending to other organizations under the Ministry of Railways and leasing assets related to national projects and railway infrastructure on behalf of the Government of India (MoR). A significant portion of its business revolves around financial leasing of rolling stock assets, encompassing powered and unpowered vehicles like coaches, wagons, trucks, flats, electric multiple units, containers, cranes, trollies, and various other rolling stock components. It extends financial support to various railway-related enterprises, such as Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL), ICON, and Railtel. The government currently holds a bit over 86% stake in IRFC, which based on reports suggest that the Indian Government will need to dilute around 11.36% to comply with SEBI’s MPS norm. IRFC’s Q1 FY24 performance breakdown:

  1. Revenue: The company saw an 18.7% YoY increase in revenue from operations, reaching ₹6,679.2 crores.

  2. Expenses: Expenses stood at ₹5,124.5 crore, which is notably higher than the ₹3,965.9 crore in Q1FY23.

  3. Operating Profit Margin: There was a decline YoY, with the margin at 23.28%, down from 29.53% in Q1FY23.

  4. Net Profit: IRFC reported a 6.3% YoY decrease in net profit, amounting to ₹1,556.6 crore, compared to ₹1,661.6 crore in the same period last year. However, sequentially, there was a rise of 17.2% from ₹1,327.7 crore in Q4FY23.

While the Q1FY24 results showed a drop in profit, there is evident bullishness in the stock due to the government's pronounced focus on railway infrastructure development. PM Narendra Modi announced a ₹24,470 crores capex program to revamp 508 railway stations under the Amrit Bharat Station Scheme. The cabinet approved seven multi-tracking projects worth ₹3,25,000 crore. While all of this will help grow in the Indian Railway Sector, it will also provide strong revenue visibility for IRFC - as it is the government’s primary arm for financing railway projects. There are several key developments -

  1. IRFC and RITES signed an MoU to enhance cooperation in financing and developing railway infrastructure projects.

  2. G-20 summit saw India partnering with the US, UAE, and Saudi Arabia for developing shipping and railway connections.

Top Railway Stocks #3 - Titagarh Rail Systems (Titagarh Wagons)

Titagarh Rail Systems Limited is an Indian holding company that manufactures and sells a wide range of items including railway wagons, steel castings, heavy earthmoving and mining equipment, bailey bridges etc. Titagarh Wagons Limited organizes its operations into three primary segments: freight rolling stock, passenger rolling stock, and other specialized areas such as shipbuilding, defence equipment etc. Titagarh Rail Systems’ Q1 FY24 performance breakdown:

  1. Revenue: The rail wagon manufacturer's net revenue saw a substantial increase, surging by 107.5% to ₹914.65 crore for the quarter.

  2. Ebitda: The company's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (Ebitda) stood at ₹118.78 crore, translating to an Ebitda margin of 13.04%.

  3. Net Profit: Titagarh Rail Systems Limited reported a significant net profit of ₹61.78 crore for the June quarter. This marks a remarkable turnaround from the previous year, where the company had reported a net loss of ₹604,000.

  4. The company's two key operating segments, the Freight Rail Systems and the Passenger Rail Systems, reported revenues of ₹746.08 crore and ₹164.68 crore, respectively. This showcases a significant increment over the revenues reported during the same period in the previous fiscal year.

Titagarh Rail Systems Ltd has exhibited an outstanding performance in recent years. Factors contributing to Titagarh’s growth include the Indian government's focus on infrastructure and the company being beneficiary of recently announced railway infrastructure development projects. While some market experts advise caution, citing potential profit-booking, others remain bullish on its prospects, emphasizing the company's fundamentals, robust business model, growth trajectory and favorable government initiatives focused on rail infrastructure.

  1. There is strong demand for railway wagons from the private sector.

  2. Titagarh plans to invest in capex to raise its production capacity from the current 600-700 wagons per month to 1000 wagons by the end of the financial year.

  3. As of March 2023, Titagarh Rail Systems boasts an impressive order book worth ₹27,000 crore.

  4. Plans to invest approximately ₹650 crore over the upcoming 2-3 years to consolidate its manufacturing capabilities and facilities.

  5. Titagarh Rail Systems has entered a strategic agreement with BHEL Ltd. Under this agreement, the companies will jointly supply 80 Vande Bharat trains to the Indian Railways. And maintaining these trains over a span of 35 years, starting 2025.

  6. Joint venture in Ramakrishna Titagarh Rail Wheels Limited (RTRWL) with Ramakrishna Forgings Limited to establish Asia's most significant train wheel manufacturing plants in India. Production target of 200,000 wheels annually with 80,000 wheels supplied to the Indian Railways under a dedicated contract, while balance 120,000 will cater to the company's requirements

Top Railway Stocks #4 - Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL)

RVNL is actively involved in advancing railway development projects, positioning itself as one of the premier railway stocks in India for 2023. RVNL places a strong focus on funding and executing projects related to the reinforcement of the Golden Quadrilateral. This encompasses a wide spectrum of initiatives, including the establishment of new rail lines, track doubling, gauge conversion, railway electrification, metro projects, construction of workshops, significant bridge construction, cable-stayed bridge construction, and institutional building projects. RVNL effectively manages the entire spectrum of railway projects. As a turnkey solution provider, RVNL oversees the complete project development lifecycle, from initial concept and design phases to cost estimation, contract procurement, and project and contract management.

  1. Revenue: Increased 20% to ₹4,640.7 crore in Q1FY24, on a year-on-year basis. But declined 2%, from ₹5719.9 crore in Q4FY23. Standalone revenue increased 17% YoY to ₹5,446.2 crore.

  2. Net Profit: Jumped 15% on a year-on-year basis, reaching ₹343 crore in Q1FY24 from ₹297.6 crore in Q1FY23. But dropped 4% on a quarter-on-quarter basis, from ₹359.3 crore in Q4FY23. And standalone net profit grew 17% YoY from ₹283 crore in Q1FY23 to ₹333.5 crore in Q1FY24.

RVNL has strong revenue pipeline having secured an order worth ₹322 crore from Madhya Gujarat Vij Company. In June, RVNL bagged three orders worth ₹11,256 crore from Chennai Metro Rail Ltd for Phase II project constructions. In July, RVNL became the lowest bidder for several Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited projects worth ₹256.19 crore, along with other projects worth a total of ₹1,896 crore. Overall, the stock remains bullish. It has shown resilience and strength, giving investors confidence in its upward momentum. However, potential investors should watch for short-term corrections.

Here is a detailed analysis of RVNL, RVNL’s Complete Stock Analysis: Opportunity or Risk?

Top Railway Stocks #5 - Container Corporation of India

Container Corporation of India Limited (CONCOR) serves as the parent company overseeing activities such as transportation of containers via both rail and road networks, managing an extensive logistics infrastructure, comprising dry ports, container freight stations, and private freight terminals. In the domestic domain, CONCOR provides services such as terminal handling fees, door delivery and pickups, and a volume discount program. For EXIM locations operating at CONCOR's Terminal/Inland Container Depot, the company offers its user-friendly E-Filing software, a web-based application accessible to importers, exporters, and shipping agents. This software streamlines document filing, including billing, and facilitates easy document printing.

  1. Revenue: The revenue for the quarter was ₹1919.3 crore, falling short of the estimated ₹2072 crore by about 7.4%.

  2. PAT (Profit After Tax): The company posted a standalone PAT of ₹244 crore, which was lower than the estimated ₹296 crore. This represents a significant shortfall of around 17.6%.

  3. Margins and EBITDA: The margins were also lower than expected, coming in at 20.4% versus an estimated 23.07%. EBITDA was ₹392 crore, missing the estimate by approximately 17% (compared to the expected ₹472.5 crore).

  4. Dividend: Despite the miss on several financial metrics, the company declared an interim dividend for FY2023-24, which amounts to ₹121.86 crore. This move could be seen as a gesture to maintain shareholder confidence.

The company is facing a few challenges at the moment, with weaker realization and high land licence fees—which can impact profitability. Management intends to invest in new terminals, wagons, and technology (like blockchain and AI) can position the company for future growth. However, the results indicate that there are immediate challenges to be addressed to meet financial targets.

Top Railway Stocks #6 - Jupiter Wagons

Jupiter Wagons specializes in manufacturing railway freight wagons, passenger coaches, wagon components, as well as cast manganese steel crossings and castings. They are the manufacturer of coaches used by both Indian Railways and various private entities.

  1. Revenue: Showcased an impressive revenue recording a rise of 155% on YoY basis.

  2. EBITDA: Grew 223% on YoY basis with EBITDA margin at 12.9%. EBITDA margin is projected to remain robust in the upcoming years.

  3. Net Profit: Consolidated net profit soared by 392% YoY to Rs629 mn.

  4. Expected Capex for FY24E is about Rs4.5 billion, and Jupiter Wagons stands as a net debt zero company.

Jupiter Wagons has bagged a significant freight wagons order from private entities.

  1. The company is anticipating a large-scale tender from Indian Railways for around 40,000 wagons. The order book value at the end of Q1FY24 was Rs62.1 billion, marking an increase from Rs58.2 bn at the end of FY23.

  2. Plans to expand its wagon manufacturing capacity are in place, aiming to reach 800 wagons/month by CY23 end and further to 1000 wagons/month by next year.

  3. There was however a decrease in the volume of crossings and containers, showcasing a significant decline YoY.

  4. Global ambitions are evident with Jupiter Wagons signing an MoU with RITES to participate in international tenders. Bidding for a significant order in Zimbabwe is currently in advanced stages.

  5. Jupiter Wagons has successfully completed the acquisition of Stone India, which will further bolster its production capabilities for the conventional brake system and also for Vande-Bharat as well. Joint ventures with Covis and Dako are expected to contribute 5-6% by FY25 to the bottom line.

  6. The company is also venturing into the Lithium-Ion battery sector in collaboration with Siemens.

The Indian Railway sector is experiencing a high given the significant capital expenditure announced by the Indian Railways. Many companies are currently trading at peak valuations. Despite the evident growth trajectory, the analysis suggests a 10% discount for Jupiter Wagons when compared to its closest competitor, Titagarh Wagons.

Top Railway Stocks #7 - RITES Ltd.

RITES Limited is an India-based engineering and consulting firm that specializes in providing comprehensive services related to transportation infrastructure and associated technologies, covering the entire project lifecycle from inception to completion. RITES serves a diverse clientele comprising railways, highways, airports, ports, ropeways, urban transport systems, and inland waterways, both within India and abroad. With a global footprint, RITES extends its services to approximately 55 countries across Asia, Africa, Latin America, South America, and the Middle East. RITES’ Q1FY24 Financials:

  1. Total Revenue: ₹563 crore, down from ₹637 crore in Q1FY23. Operating Revenue (consolidated) was ₹544 crore, a decline of 10% YoY.

    1. Consultancy business was the major contributor at ₹270 crore with a 44.2% margin.

    2. Leasing revenue was ₹31 crore.

    3. Turnkey revenue was ₹165 crore.

    4. The Export segment faced a sharp decline of 52.1%, amounting to ₹38 crore.

  2. EBITDA: ₹161 crore and 29.6% margin

  3. PAT: ₹120 crore with a 21.3% margin

RITES Ltd., despite the dip in its Q1FY24 revenue due to declining exports and reduced rates from Indian Railways, remains optimistic about its future growth. The Indian Railways' decision to include three more firms for quality assurance haas impacted RITES's revenue. Hence, the company is exploring opportunities beyond railways. As such, the company is optimistic about upcoming opportunities in Project Consultancy and Export business. The company also has several international contracts ongoing.

  1. Strong order book with over 70 orders in Q1FY24 and a total worth of ₹5702 crore as of June 30th, 2023.

  2. With a focus on reviving its export business, the company has made aggressive efforts towards targeting Southeast Asian, African, and now Latin American countries.

  3. RITES has entered into an MoU with a Norwegian entity, DNV, which operates in over 100 countries. The partnership aims to explore international inspection opportunities.

Their robust order book, innovative collaborations, and consistent margins position them well for future growth. Investors should monitor this company, especially given its notable financial performance and growth prospects.

Wright Resarch’s Take on Indian Railways Sector & Top Indian Railway Stocks

The Indian Stock Market has been somewhat volatile in August and in September, especially in the midcap, smallcap, and microcap sectors. This downturn seems to be a short-term fluctuation rather than a major trend reversal, given the bullish run observed over the last 4 to 6 months. This upswing has been especially pronounced in midcaps, with some even tripling in value.

Indian Railways Sector - Long Term View

Railways, along with defence and power, have emerged as notable wealth creators in the past year. These sectors had been dormant and not so profitable for a decade. However, the recent uptick indicates a shift in the perception and performance of these sectors. There seems to be an under-ownership pattern, especially in PSUs linked to railways.

Long-term view of the Indian Railways Sector seems positive, with potential for growth over the next 3 to 5 years given strong visibility of revenue and infrastructure development opportunities. While there may be some short-term volatility and profit booking, the underlying fundamentals of the railway sector look strong.

Investment in Indian Railways Sector and Top Indian Railway Stocks

For investors looking at railways within the midcap and smallcap sectors, the approach should be balanced. While the potential for high returns exists, a diversification strategy within well researched baskets like new india theme focused smallcases or even mutual funds, particularly those with exposure to railways and associated sectors, might provide a safer bet than individual stock picking.

There has also been increased traction in the microcap space, and while they offer opportunities, there's a word of caution. Given the rapid volatility in value of microcaps, investors should be careful when looking at microcaps and not just be swayed solely by momentum.

Despite the recent growth, investors should avoid over-diversifying and in some cases can consider investing in concentrated portfolios as well. It ultimately boils down to one's risk profile, age, and portfolio composition before making such investment decisions. Railways seem to be a strong sector, but a well-balanced portfolio would also consider other sectors, ensuring not all investments are in one basket.

Read the full article on Wright Research Complete Guide to Indian Railway Sector and Top Railway Stocks in India 2023.

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