Investors are on edge going into 2015.
Commodity prices are down and could be heading lower; Chinese growth is waning; Japan and Europe are struggling to rekindle their economies; US interest rates are likely to rise and the local unemployment rate is rising.
By all means, there is every chance that some of Australia’s most popular stocks won’t be up to the task in 2015. The big four banks, for instance, face tougher regulations and could thus underperform the market. So could Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS), which has long been the go-to stock for capital gains and enormous dividend payments.
Watch these 10 stocks in 2015
But then again, 2015 could also be a boon. In fact, Credit Suisse expects the ASX 200 to hit the 6,000 point level by December this year, up from its current 5,430 level. The financial services group believes that global growth will continue while a potential rate cut by the RBA could also spark greater demand for Australian shares.
On that bullish note, here are 10 stocks that are worth watching in 2015. While some are already trading at terrific prices, others could become more compelling as the year goes on.
1. BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP). The world’s largest miner is trading at just over $29 and being weighed down by plunging commodity prices. Investors ought to remain cautious, but if the stock falls much further it could become a fantastic purchase.
2. Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW). The supermarket behemoth boasts an incredible track record for earnings and dividend growth. With the shares down more than 20% since April, Woolworths is not only one worth watching, but could be one of the best stocks you buy all year.
3. Medibank Private Ltd (ASX: MPL). The health insurer is trading on a very high premium right now but could retreat to a more attractive level at some point in 2015 – especially if it fails to impress investors with its cost cutting or efficiency improvements.
4. Regis Healthcare Ltd (ASX: REG). With an ageing population, there is no doubting that aged care will become increasingly important over the coming years and decades. The aged care sector is extremely fragmented and the larger players in the industry, such as Regis, are in a good position to expand significantly.
5. Greencross Limited (ASX: GXL). It’s been a down year for Greencross’ shares, but not so for the company. The provider of veterinary services recently reconfirmed it’s on track to meet earnings forecasts while earnings are tipped to continue growing strongly over the coming years.
6. Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd (ASX: CCL). It’s been a tough few years for shareholders, but 2015 could be the beverage manufacturer’s return to form. Investors should take advantage while its shares are trading near a multi-year low, especially with its forecast 4.4% dividend (franked to 75%).
7. Lindsay Australia Limited (ASX: LAU). Australian seafood is becoming more and more popular in Asian nations and Lindsay Australia, a transport and logistics company, could profit handsomely. The company is increasing its presence in far north-Queensland to take advantage of this trend.
8. Shine Corporate Ltd (ASX: SHJ). The plaintiff litigation company is expanding geographically across Australia while at the same time widening its area of expertise from just personal injury cases. With a strong management team at the helm, this stock could deliver fantastic returns in 2015 and beyond.
9. Burson Group Ltd (ASX: BAP). The auto-parts dealer is an excellent bet going into 2015, particularly with unemployment tipped to rise. In times of economic uncertainty, more people stick with their old cars rather than buying new ones, which would indicate greater sales for Burson Group.
10. Collection House Limited (ASX: CLH). The debt collection agency maintains an excellent track record for revenue and earnings growth, and that should continue through 2015. In addition, the group offers an excellent fully franked dividend yield at roughly 4.2%.
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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman owns shares in Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd, Shine Corporate Ltd, Burson Group Ltd and Collection House Limited. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ASXvalueinvest.