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Yogi Kulkarni has founded, a web site for avid investors. He’d asked me to take a look, so here’s my set of thoughts.

Stockhive’s “funda” is to focus on effective presentation of technical and fundamental data of Indian traded stocks. Yog said (to me) that he built Stockhive because none of the other investing sites addressed my needs – simple things like showing trailing PEs, EPSs, growth rates, adjusting EPS for bonus and splits, showing technical breakouts, etc.

Now it’s easy to comment on someone’s work, and very difficult to do something yourself. Briefly put, Criticism is simple, Creation is tough. Kudos to Yogi for having implemented this site; I hope my comments will be of help to him and to the investing community at large.

I went in and registered in what was an extraordinarily short amount of time. Presented on the post-registration screen was a Sensex chart for one year till last Friday closing. A broad Sensex trend does me little good as I am a more active investor and tend to know where the index has been; more useful, perhaps, is the current value of the index and the change.

Searching for a company proved very interesting. As you type into the search field, you can see a list of matching companies, though “clicking” is not intuitive (the cursor does not become a hand). But the search is not very comprehensive – for instance, searching for “HLL” yields no results, and neither does searching for NSE or BSE codes. Also, you can’t search for a sector like “Auto ancilliaries” – no results.

Now I went into a company page – Ranbaxy Laboratories. A colourful single page view of the stock lit up the screen, showing the Price, Trailing P/E (for a year from June 2006) and Trailing EPS. This is cool: I always had to get this information by adding up quarterly results in the NSE website. The price chart ran over a year with prices adjusted for the split last year; and key factors such as Sales Growth, EPS growth, EV/Sales, EV/EBIDTA etc. are displayed.

I wish there was more explanation of these terms (“help”), and more importantly, a comparision within the sector the company is in. For instance, an EV/EBIDTA value by itself is useless – sector comparative numbers indicate value buys. A link to rank companies by these factors and within sectors would be extremely useful; for instance, I would like to see financial data ranked by EV/EBIDTA of Pharma companies.

Key values that are missed: Dividend yield, Last Announced Dividend, Today’s volume, Beta value, BSE vs. NSE price & volume and link to company web site.

There’s a link to “News”, which seems to be a consolidation of NSE+BSE announcements, but no sources are mentioned. since nearly One problem is that the “year” is not mentioned in the announcement, which is a problem when looking at an entry named “10 Jun”.

The “Financials” gives you quarterly results, balance sheets and P&L accounts. The nice thing here is that all of this is adjusted for stock splits and bonuses. The graphs are not that useful – I tend to look at data more – but the data is also available to view.

There’s also a Company Background information giving you names of directors, the Registered office, and a year wise loosely formatted summary of the company. This is probably pasted from Asian CERC data, for I found a few other sites with this data as well.

You can also have companies in your “watchlist” that allows you to see specific companies you want to track, and your “recently viewed” companies are visible as a list on the main page.

What’s missing?

As I’d mentioned before, company and sector comparisons are absent. Data isn’t real time – but that will likely be fixed later.

Watchlists don’t provide tabular information on stock prices, changes etc. – like the portfolio stock tracker page, which is quite useful for a one shot look at your portfolio. Further your watchlist is not a portfolio tracker, so you cannot get investment analysis, or set up price alerts etc. on this page.

There’s no community participation on the site; no stock specific discussions, or viewable feedback/rating. What I’d love to see is : Rs. 10,000 invested in this company 1, 2, 5 years ago would now be worth (X,Y,Z), accounting for bonuses and splits.

There’s no way to set up a complex query – such as, give me stocks with P/E less than 20 and 1 year growth of greater than 30%, and average daily traded value greater than 5 crores. No site gives me this information, so I have always ended up doing this through a program I’ve written. But most sites have canned lists of “Upper Circuit stocks”, “Highest Dividend Yield” etc.

Last but not least, there is no information on futures and options, or mutual funds (even index traded funds).

In all, I think Stockhive has potential; it’s a site written by an investor, so there are some good things that can happen. How they will make money is a question I don’t have an answer for – all the information they present is already available online, so why would anyone pay? Ad revenue isn’t all that much nowadays. Stockhive is funded by two private companies and by Yogi himself, but that will only go so far. At this point, the site does very few unique things to get people to pay; but as a free site this will go a long way.


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