Best Large Cap Stocks to buy now in India 2024

In this article, we will cover,

What are large-cap companies?

Best Large Cap Stocks Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) defines large caps as 1st-100th company in terms of full market capitalization which means stocks from those companies that are ranked within the top 100 on the stock exchange in terms of market capitalization. Large cap stocks make up most of the equity market and generally form the core portfolio investments of many market participants. India’s market leading indices like the BSE SENSEX and NIFTY 50 comprises l`arge cap stocks only. Large cap stocks should be part of one’s investment portfolio as these companies generate stable revenues and earnings. Companies in large caps are stalwarts in their own industry and belong to the mature lot on exchanges.

Characteristics of Large-Cap Stocks Companies

Given the huge size, a large cap company is easily recognizable and financially stable with a large distribution network. These companies typically sell quality products and services that are widely accepted across the country. Because of these qualities such companies are more resilient to economic downturns. They may continue to grow or operate profitably even in adverse market conditions. And this is one of the reasons these companies are relatively less sensitive to wide market fluctuations when compared to Mid Cap and Small Cap companies. These companies are large and pretty well-established, having a history of consistent performance with stable and growing earnings and profits.  These companies are financially resilient with negligible to zero debt levels and are capable of surviving turbulent economic situations. Further, it is often seen that a large cap business is less affected by unfavorable financial conditions during recessionary periods. It is imperative to note that an investor must look for operational efficiency in terms of stringent working capital requirement/ cycle along with superior cash conversion cycle. Investors are advised to avoid these large cap companies with high promoter pledge. Promoters with stable or increasing shareholding must be preferred over other large cap players.        Investing in large cap stocks is recommended for investors with a conservative risk profile to meet their long term goals of at least 8-10 years. But investing in these companies is ideal for all investors to grow their wealth over a long period without exposing themselves to a lot of risk and volatility. Some portion of an investor’s portfolio can always be exposed to large caps stocks for stable less risky returns depending on their risk profile.

Financial factors to keep in mind while determining the best large-cap stocks to buy

Apart from the characteristics discussed above, an investor must keep a few key financial factors of large cap companies in mind before investing. Most of these companies in India have market capitalization greater than Rs. 50,000 Crs. These companies have a track record of consistently increasing their topline and operating margins on an upward trajectory. They are generally debt free companies, however, a low and stable debt to equity ratio may also be considered as a significant characteristic. Large cap stocks tend to be dividend-paying stocks, allowing investors to generate a regular passive income. They generally do this to compensate investors for the largely stagnant stock prices as they have the earnings to do so. Also, these companies should have a high return ratio (both return on equity and return on capital employed), high interest coverage ratio, ability to consistently generate cash flows along with other factors. 

List of Large cap Stocks

Sr. No.Company NameBSE Scrip CodeNSE SymbolCMP - Dec 2022RatingIndustry
1Reliance Industries Ltd.500325RELIANCE2,5660.5Integrated Oil & Gas
2Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.532540TCS3,2405Information Technology
3Hindustan Unilever Ltd.500696HINDUNILVR2,6715FMCG
4Infosys Ltd.500209INFY1,5224.5Information Technology
5Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd.500010HDFC2,6675Finance - Housing
6Bharti Airtel Ltd.532454BHARTIARTL8230.5Telecom
7ITC Ltd.500875ITC3354FMCG
8Asian Paints Ltd.500820ASIANPAINT3,0564Chemical - Paints
9Nestle India Ltd.500790NESTLEIND19,7395FMCG
10HCL Technologies Ltd.532281HCLTECH1,0304Information Technology
11Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.532500MARUTI8,4862
Automobiles & Ancillaries
12Larsen & Toubro Ltd.500510LT2,1750.5Infrastructure
13Titan Company Ltd.500114TITAN2,4830.5Diamond & Jewellery
14Britannia Industries Ltd.500825BRITANNIA4,4453FMCG
15Bajaj Auto Ltd.532977BAJAJ-AUTO3,5505
Automobiles & Ancillaries
16Eicher Motors Ltd.505200EICHERMOT3,2914.5
Automobiles & Ancillaries
17Dr. Reddys Laboratories Ltd.500124DRREDDY4,3091
Pharmaceuticals & Drugs
18Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.524715SUNPHARMA9942
Pharmaceuticals & Drugs
19Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd.500312ONGC1471Oil Exploration
20Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd.500547BPCL3420.5Refineries
21Godrej Consumer Products Ltd.532424GODREJCP8972FMCG
22Hero Moto Corp Ltd.500182HEROMOTOCO2,7254.5
Automobiles & Ancillaries
23HDFC Bank Ltd.500180HDFCBANK1,6405Bank - Private
24Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd.500247KOTAKBANK1,899.954.5Bank - Private
25ICICI Bank Ltd.532174ICICIBANK905.34Bank - Private
26Axis Bank Ltd.532215AXISBANK868.13Bank - Private
27State Bank of India500112SBIN593.950.5Bank - Public

ITC Ltd.

ITC Ltd. has presence in diverse businesses and occupies a dominant position in the Indian cigarette market. It has also delivered strong sustainable profitability. ITC has excellently evolved from a pure tobacco company into a well-diversified scalable business conglomerate with a robust presence in paperboards, printing and packaging, agricultural commodities, hotels, branded packaged foods, personal care products, branded apparel, stationery, safety matches, agarbatti (incense sticks), and other FMCG products. It has lately added luxury chocolates, ghee, dairy and frozen food products to its branded packaged foods segment. Additionally, acquisition of Sunrise Foods Pvt. Ltd. is expected to further strengthen ITC’s market position in the spices segment and further improve diversity. ITC is known for its healthy internal cash accrual, low debt, and robust liquidity. The company displayed good growth in financials. Its FMCG business has shown resilience by playing an exception to global economic doom. Risks include large, debt funded capital expenditure or acquisitions which may adversely impact financial risk profile increasing the debt to equity ratio, adverse regulatory changes in the cigarette industry which may have a material impact on the profit metrics and considerable decline in cash and investments.

Hindustan Unilever Ltd.

Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (HUL) is one of the largest Fast Moving Consumer Goods Companies in India with a heritage of over 80 years. 7 19 of its brands generate annual turnover of over Rs. 1,000 Crores Each, while 2 new brands have crossed the Rs. 2,000 Crores mark. HUL caters to a variety of product ranges which include foods, beverages, cleaning agents, personal care products, and water purifiers. A few famous brands have high visibility and sustained market leadership which is backed by an extensive distribution network and a strong advertising and marketing campaign. HUL has been leveraging its distribution strengths to adapt its channel strategy for its products and market segments. In challenging circumstances of geopolitical uncertainties, high commodity inflation and tepid market growths, they have delivered yet another year of strong and resilient performance. They have added Rs. 8,000 Crores to our topline in this fiscal with volume growth in mid-single digits despite decline in FMCG market volumes. The company has ample liquidity which is indicated by cash and bank balance of Rs. 2,407 Crores as on September 30th, 2022. HUL is known for its aggressive dividend payout policy with a dividend yield of 1.26%. 1.46%. The Indian FMCG industry is corroborated by both organised and unorganised players across segments and products and HUL continues to face stiff competition with the entry of new players including multinationals in all its major segments such as soaps and detergents, personal care products and packaged foods. However, HUL’s strong financial risk profile and its leading position in the domestic FMCG industry would help to maintain its leadership position and tide through any economic slowdown and crisis.

Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. 

Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (TCS) Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (TCS) is a leader among Indian players in the global information technology and IT enabled services outsourcing segment and it has a diversified and growing client base with a wide range of services offered and scalable operations. TCS operates with a strong financial profile which is characterized by healthy revenue growth, recurring cash accruals and strong liquidity in the form of free cash reserves. The Company has been able to maintain presence across diversified verticals and has a solid execution track record, which has aided it to build scale. TCS has demonstrated the ability to structure and execute large scale projects globally, enabling it to continually garner market share over its competitors in the past five fiscals. Company has a large, diversified and growing client base with meaningful incremental addition of clients in the above USD 20 million, USD 50 million and USD 100 million buckets from previous fiscals and its superior execution ability has resulted in high repeat business which provides stability to the revenue stream. Financial profile of the company remains robust which is reflected in high operating profitability of 24%, strong capital structure and robust liquidity position in the form of a strong cash and equivalents balance of Rs. 5,834 Cr as of Q2FY23. Company’ attrition rate in IT services was 20.1% as of Q4FY23 which is the lowest in the industry. Companies across the globe are spending more on initiatives built around digital technologies to drive business outcomes and this has slowed down revenue growth of IT players from traditional outsourcing businesses. TCS has a high concentration of revenues from the BFSI (almost one-third of revenues) segment, although the same is mitigated by its established relationship with clients as well as deep domain knowledge. However, this still remains a key risk for the company. IT services companies like TCS continue to fight the challenging operating environment characterized by pressure on commoditized IT services, wage inflation, and higher onsite costs necessitated by visa curbs leading to increased local hiring as well as lower discretionary spend by corporate firms.   

Reliance Industries Ltd.

Reliance Industries (RIL), the flagship company of the Reliance group, is the largest private sector enterprise in India. RIL has a highly integrated nature of operations with presence across the entire energy value chain. It has diversified revenue streams, massive scale of downstream businesses with one of the most complex refineries, established leadership position in the petrochemical segment along with a strong financial risk profile characterized by robust capital structure, stable cash flows and healthy liquidity position. RIL’s telecom arm, Reliance Jio is the largest operator in the country in terms of subscriber base with approximately 42.13 crore subscribers as of October, 2022. Company has been able to create a strong market position in the organized retail sector and has reduced its debt on a consolidated level.  Diversifying and gaining a leadership position into digital services and foray into the organized retail sector with grocery retailer Jio Mart have reduced the overall inherent cyclicality risks due to its O2C and petrochemical business.  The company’s retail business is aggressively ramping up its product mix, targeting all geographical markets. In FY23 it continued store expansion with 3,300+ new stores & 25 mn sq ft retail space. Serving customers at scale – registered customers at 249 mn, up 29% YoY; Total transactions cross 1 billion, up 42% YoY; Footfalls at 780 mn, up 50% YoY. Furthermore, its focus on new growth initiatives through foray into Beauty and FMCG business. This will help balance the volatility and creates a balance between business and customer segments. The increasing exposure from its leveraged businesses to more consumer facing and digital initiatives is going to lead its future path. Additionally, RIL is at the cusp of new Investment cycle with announcement of new Capex plans worth USD 80 bn across green energy space.  It does face extreme competitive pressure in almost all verticals and there are other regulatory risks associated with the telecom segment. Any major debt funded capital expenditure can deteriorate its financial risk profile which could be a negative factor for RIL.

Larsen & Toubro.

Larsen & Toubro is India’s largest construction organization and ranked in the top 15 contractors in the world. It has it’s presence in the business of Construction, Hydrocarbon, Heavy Engineering, Power Transmission & Distribution, Minerals & Metals, Defence, Technology Services, Realty Business, Financial Services, etc.  It derives it’s major revenue from Infrastructure which contributes 45% followed by services contributing 34% as of Q2FY23. It remains the only stock of capital goods sector in Nifty50. The surge in domestic demand, improvement in capacity utilization levels and much cleaner balance sheet has made L&T to maintain its market position. As the world towards green energy, L&T has also envisaged venturing into emerging businesses like Green Hydrogen development, Electrolyser & Battery manufacturing, Data Centers and also scaled up new-age digital and e-commerce businesses. L&T has started to bag international orders as it expands its presence across the globe. It’s orders inflows from international composition have increased from 27% in FY 2020-21 to 44% in FY 2021-22. Higher interest rates have delayed the capex plans of private players and government spending currently remains the major source of revenue for L&T in India. Inflation has put pressure on the operating margins for L&T with most of the industrial commodities facing volatility in their prices.

Asian Paints Ltd.

Asian Paints Asian Paints enjoys a dominant share of over 50% in the organized domestic paints market. In the decorative paints segment, which comprises about 70-75% of the Indian paints industry, Asian Paints has a share of about 60%. It has also been able to garner a healthy position in the automotive industrial coatings segment with a market share of about 20%. Driven by its leadership position, the company has registered a sales CAGR of 14.1% over the last five years. Strong brand equity, extensive distribution network, and wide product portfolio has enabled it to maintain a strong market position. Due to the company's leadership position, it enjoys a healthy operating margin of 14.4% which is higher than peers. Debt to equity has always been less than 0.15 times over the past 5 years. Asian Paints financial risk profile continues to remain strong, marked by a net debt free balance sheet and comfortable cash and cash equivalents of over Rs.2,200 crore as of FY22. Risk of intense competition (Grasim’s aggressive entry in Paint biz) and steep increase in any input prices has affected its profitability.

Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd.

Uday Kotak led, Kotak Mahindra Bank is one of India’s leading financial services conglomerates, providing a wide span of various financial and banking solutions with a reach of over 1710 branches and 2802 ATMs across India. Kotak Mahindra Bank emerged as a player who adopted a prudent and cautious approach, targeting only high-rated customers and sectors. This aided the bank's low levels of bad loan formation over the years (Net NPA at 0.55%). Bank’s deposit franchise continues to be granular and robust with deposit accretion staying healthy with an industry leading CASA ratio of 56.2%. Kotak Bank has maintained its cautious stance towards unsecured retail, credit cards and small business lending. Bank’s 70% advances are given to corporate and business, home loans & LAP and agriculture segment, with corporate and business division having the highest exposure of nearly 40%. The Large cap stocks are considered to be relatively safe and have well analyzed track records which make them less volatile. Since these companies are already mature and require less money for future growth, money is usually returned back to shareholders through dividends which is considered as a boon during an uncertain environment. Dividends added to the stock price appreciation leads to considerable returns for any investor. Therefore, an investor’s portion should always be allocated to these large caps names in order to cushion their portfolio during difficult and uncertain times.

Model Portfolio

In order to get an exposure to Best Large Cap Stocks, you would need a total of Rs. 38141 for the below curated portfolio as of Dec, 2022.

Company NameWeightageCMP as of 19th December 2022.QuantityTotal
Reliance Industries Ltd.13%256625132
Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.17%324026480
Hindustan Unilever Ltd.14%267125342
Larsen & Toubro11%217524350
Asian Paints Ltd.16%305626112
ITC Ltd.13%335155025
Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd.15%190035700
Total   38141

You could invest in the above model portfolio or if you'd like to invest in a ready-made basket of stocks without having to worry about researching the same, you could invest and create wealth with StockBasket.

How should one evaluate and research best large cap stocks to buy?

Check out our video on how you can build your own checklist and identify the best large cap stocks to buy in India.

Detailed overview of Best Large cap stocks to buy (Excluding Banking Companies):

The table below covers an overview of the best large cap stocks to buy (ex banks and financials).

Sr. No.Company NameBSE Scrip CodeNSE SymbolCMP (As of May 2023)RatingIndustryMcapCompounded Sales Growth (5 years)Compounded Profit Growth (5 years)Operating Profit Margin (%)Price to Earnings (times)Price to Sales (times)EV/EBITDADebt to equity (times)Dividend Yield (%)Return on Equity (%)Return on Capital Employed (%)
1ITC Ltd.500875ITC4504.5FMCG559,1377.048.136.0620.537.8814.1704.5925.6633.04
2Hindustan Unilever Ltd.500696HINDUNILVR2,6575FMCG624,1819.9314.4522.6554.610.437.0601.6618.3324.61
3Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.532540TCS3,3165Information Technology1,213,41514.359.1529.59305.3920.7503.5951.869.39
4Reliance Industries Ltd.500325RELIANCE2,5201Integrated Oil & Gas1,705,02611.854.4614.1945.591.9429.530.410.38.638.21
5Larsen & Toubro Ltd.500510LT2,2110.5Infrastructure310,7448.977.6412.9331.521.7120.070.31.2412.2514
6Asian Paints Ltd.500820ASIANPAINT3,1442Chemical – Paints301,61014.6411.7116.9694.38.6858.600.6224.6633.48
7Bajaj Auto Ltd.532977BAJAJ-AUTO4,5925Automobiles & Ancillaries129,9318.775.5719.3721.063.5916.2703.8319.3725
8Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd.500547BPCL3600.5Refineries78,18012.371.
9Bharti Airtel Ltd.532454BHARTIARTL8180.5Telecom488,5562.5518.2551.69-116.493.4114.391.310.4-4.645.6
10Britannia Industries Ltd.500825BRITANNIA4,5734FMCG110,1559.7113.717.5548.156.832.390.911.7656.3147
11Dr. Reddys Laboratories Ltd.500124DRREDDY4,5191Pharmaceuticals & Drugs75,2528.193.2421.3544.143.0823.350.120.79.2611.68
12Eicher Motors Ltd.505200EICHERMOT3,6784Automobiles & Ancillaries100,6597.540.3325.2342.416.9925.1500.8515.5720.7
13Godrej Consumer Products Ltd.532424GODREJCP1,0473FMCG107,0927.9211.7824.8551.658.0642.310020.8524.92
14HCL Technologies Ltd.532281HCLTECH1,1364Information Technology308,23216.049.6139.3529.053.0319.460.013.6125.2730.9
15Hero Moto Corp Ltd.500182HEROMOTOCO2,7794Automobiles & Ancillaries55,5390.52-6.0412.8518.561.6211.9604.1415.9921.15
16Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd.500010HDFC2,6934.5Finance – Housing496,8277.6913.0592.2631.513.2521.064.211.2612.177.53
17Infosys Ltd.500209INFY1,3245Information Technology549,38114.897.5727.8625.453.7216.9502.3834.3346.41
18Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.532500MARUTI9,3832Automobiles & Ancillaries283,4525.35-12.528.1960.622.430.110.010.797.148.86
19Nestle India Ltd.500790NESTLEIND21,5745FMCG208,01211.0414.321.8979.0511.849.310.011.12108.52152.61
20Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd.500312ONGC1593Oil Exploration199,8387.2617.6355.

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