PROFILE IMRAN AFZAL
COLUMN FOR THE RECORD
POLITICS & POLICY 1- 3 YEARS OF GOOD GOVERNANCE
2- ELECTION MANIFESTOS OF THE POLITICAL PARTIES
MANAGEMENT MORE ABOUT TQM
special report THE DIGITAL DIVIDE

 

IMRAN AFZAL

 

By SHABBIR H. KAZMI
Oct 21 - 27, 2002

MOHAMMAD IMRAN AFZAL  did his MBA from University of New Haven, USA. He has recently joined Akeel Karim Dedhi Securities (AKD) as a Senior Investment Analyst for Oil & Gas, Power and FMCG sectors. Earlier he worked for four years with Bank AL Habib Limited as Assistant Manager Treasury and for two years as an Investment Analyst with Khadim Ali Shah Bukhari & Co. (KASB). While he was working for KASB, he also prepared report for MerrillLynch. KASB provides research support to MerrillLynch on Pakistan. He has attended various seminars and made a number of presentations on the sectors he covers.

PAGE: Why did you decide to join this profession?

IMRAN AFZAL: When I was given the option of switching my career path to equities research, I was working with a commercial bank as a dealer in treasury. One of the major factors that made me change was the option of working independently, with a freedom to write and state my opinion and create something that others could also share . By any standard, this is the most important and interesting aspect of being an investment analyst in my opinion. Plus the job itself brings with it a broad exposure to various industries and sectors within the economy and encourages one to expand its horizon through client and company contacts.

PAGE: In your opinion, how have you evolved as an analyst over the years?

IMRAN: Its very hard to say at this point as the time period of two years is not enough, in my opinion, to understand and absorb the complexities of various industries in Pakistan. I believe the time spent at the bank plus the two years as an investment analyst made me realize that there is still a lot left un-turned as far as the industry/sector information goes that needs to be understood and covered. I also believe that I am doing reasonably well but still a lot remains unexplored. This is interesting because I am continuously exposed to changing environment. I have to understand these changes that makes my job as an analyst more challenging.

PAGE: What parameters do you look at to decide your investment recommendation for a stock?

IMRAN: Besides looking at the market value or price of a particular stock and recommending a "Buy" or "Sell", an analyst's job is to look at the core fundamentals of a company. An analyst has to consider the overall sector growth prospects to determine and quantify the demand for the company's products, which lead directly to the forecast of capacity utilization. Followed by a comparative analysis of the industry, one can assess the pricing power of the company, which directly affects both the top line revenue as well as the gross margins. One then has to look at the cost related factors including operating efficiency and effect of leverage before one forecasts the bottom line earnings and cashflow. For the valuation part, the analyst must apply various scenarios against his or her base case assumptions and then make a judgment call about the possible range of fair value of the company's stock price.