These are testing times for Aussie investors. The outlook for the economy is decidedly uncertain, with the price of commodities such as oil and iron ore falling by a staggering amount in recent months and unemployment being persistently high. The ASX, meanwhile, is lacking direction and, over the last six months, has shed 1% of its value.
So, it doesn’t exactly strike you as a great time to buy shares! However, this could be a great time to add high quality companies to your portfolio, since they are likely to include an even bigger margin of safety than usual as a result of the uncertain period we are currently experiencing. With that in mind, here are three stocks that could be worth buying at the present time.
Oil Search Limited
As mentioned, the price of oil has collapsed to below $50 per barrel in the last six months and this has hurt sentiment in companies such as Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH). However, it appears as though the market is pricing in continued falls in the price of the commodity, which means that Oil Search trades on a highly appealing price to earnings growth (PEG) ratio of just 0.32.
Clearly, oil prices may well fall further and it is nigh on impossible to accurately predict whether this will happen. However, what investors can do is assess whether share prices fully reflect further price falls already. In Oil Search’s case, its valuation appears to be so appealing that even further falls may not hit it as hard as you may expect.
Any rise in the price of oil could offer impressive share price growth for investors in Oil Search moving forward. As such, Oil Search could be worth buying right now.
Telstra Corporation Ltd
Although not directly dependent upon the price of oil, the wider economic picture in Australia clearly impacts on the top and bottom lines of Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS). That’s because it is a dominant mobile operator, although it is making moves to increase its exposure to international economies, which it believes could stimulate its sales and profit growth moving forward.
Of course, savers will be interested in Telstra simply because it pays a fat, fully franked yield of 4.9%. However, its expansion abroad could help to boost profitability and grow its dividend over the long term, with Telstra aiming to generate a third of sales from faster-growing markets in Asia within the next five years.
With this potential combination of income and growth, Telstra could prove to be a very profitable investment in the long run.
With AMP Limited (ASX: AMP) being a major wealth management business, it’s perhaps surprising that it continues to perform so well despite the ASX’s lack of momentum and lack of optimism from many investors. In fact, AMP is forecast to deliver earnings growth of 12% in the current year, which is roughly twice the ASX’s expected growth rate and shows that the company can deliver even during uncertain periods for the stock market.
And, although its share price is now a full 25% higher than it was this time last year, AMP still offers excellent value for money. For example, it has a PEG ratio of just 0.51 which shows that there is a considerable margin of safety on offer and that share price gains could lie ahead for investors in AMP.
Where to invest $1,000 right now
When investing expert Scott Phillips has a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the flagship Motley Fool Share Advisor newsletter he has run for more than eight years has provided thousands of paying members with stock picks that have doubled, tripled or even more.*
Scott just revealed what he believes are the five best ASX stocks for investors to buy right now. These stocks are trading at dirt-cheap prices and Scott thinks they are great buys right now.
*Returns as of June 30th
Motley Fool contributor Peter Stephens does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned.
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