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3 stocks to buy today if you’re bullish on the ASX

With the ASX having delivered a disappointing performance in 2014, it’s of little surprise that the mood among most Aussie investors is one of pessimism.

Furthermore, the falling price of commodities such as iron ore and oil has hit the Australian economy harder than most and, looking ahead, the prospects for the first part of 2015 don’t seem much brighter.

However, for investors seeking to ‘buy low’, now could prove to be an opportune moment to do so.

With that in mind, here are three stocks that could benefit from an improved ASX performance and deliver stunning share price growth in 2015.

Brambles Limited

While the ASX has endured a disappointing year, shares in Brambles Limited (ASX: BXB) have gone from strength to strength and are now up 9% since the turn of the year.

More share price gains could come in 2015 – especially if the ASX has a more positive year than 2014, since Brambles has a beta of 1.15. This indicates that it should outperform a rising market, with shares in Brambles forecast to rise by 1.15% for every 1% uptick in the wider index.

Also, with the company’s bottom line due to rise at an annualised rate of 13.1% over the next two years, it means that Brambles’ P/E ratio of 23.2 equates to a PEG ratio of 1.77. This indicates that upbeat growth is on offer at a relatively reasonable price, and shows that Brambles could deliver further share price gains in 2015.

National Australia Bank Ltd.

With underperforming international operations, it’s little wonder that shares in National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) have fallen by 7% during the course of the year. However, the bank is moving forward with its divestment programme and, looking ahead, could have a brighter future ahead of it.

Of course, its share price performance would be hugely aided by a stronger ASX. That’s because NAB has a beta of 1.28, which means that it should comfortably outperform the wider index during a bull market.

Furthermore, with NAB being forecast to grow its bottom line at an annualised rate of 16.6% over the next two years, its current P/E ratio of 14.5 could gain an uplift, since it equates to a PEG ratio of just 0.87.

Certainly, NAB does not appear to be cheap based on its price to book (P/B) ratio of 1.72 (which is higher than the banking sector P/B of 1.34). However, with its future prospects not appearing to be fully priced in, NAB could deliver ASX-beating performance during 2015.

Caltex Australia Limited

With a beta of 1.16, shares in Caltex Australia Limited (ASX: CTX) could also benefit from a bull market in 2015. Of course, they could still make gains in a bear market, too, since the company appears to be making excellent progress with the implementation of its major strategic review, which will see less importance placed on its refinery business, and much more on its distribution network.

In addition, Caltex is on-track to deliver cost savings of around $100 million per annum, which are set to aid its future earnings growth potential. For example, Caltex’s bottom line is forecast to rise at an annualised rate of 35.7% over the next two years, which is above and beyond the expected growth rate of the ASX.

So, with a relatively high beta, strong earnings growth, and a strategy that is being successfully implemented, Caltex could have a stunning year in 2015. And, with a PEG ratio of 0.65, it seems to be well worth buying at its current price level, too.

Of course, finding stocks that can beat the ASX is not an easy task. It’s made more difficult by the lack of time that most private investors have available to seek out their next winning investment.

With that in mind, The Motley Fool has written a free and without obligation guide called 10 Steps To Making A Million In The Market.

It's a step-by-step guide that you can put to use on your own portfolio right away. It's simple, straightforward and could help to make 2015 an even more prosperous year for your investments.

Click here to get your copy of the guide - it's completely free and comes without any further obligation.

Motley Fool contributor Peter Stephens does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned.

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