Can the ASX blue-chip shares rebound in 2016?

Credit: Lif

There’s no way around it: 2015 has been a pretty disappointing year for most Australian investors.

The banks all seem to have run out of juice, with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) and National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) still languishing in an official bear market (defined as a 20% or more fall from their peak).

BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW) have had a disastrous run as well with shares of both companies hovering at levels not seen in years (or, in BHP’s case, more than decade), while Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) shares have also fallen from their perch.

Given that they’re some of Australia’s most popular and most widely-held shares, 2015 will probably go down as a year most investors would prefer to forget.

But outside of those companies, there has been plenty of room to make outsized profits. Consider Blackmores Limited (ASX: BKL). Its shares cracked the $220 mark for the first time in history yesterday. They’ve fallen back to $215.80 in the time since but have still gained more than 510% since the beginning of the year.

Then there’s Bellamy’s Australia Ltd (ASX: BAL) which has unbelievably produced even greater returns than Blackmores. Up 3.8% today at $14.25, the shares have risen an incredible 764% year-to-date.

That’s not all. Shares of A2 MILK FPO NZ (ASX: A2M) have risen more than 52% in the last two sessions (and 240% since the beginning of June) and Bega Cheese Ltd (ASX: BGA) is up almost 22% since January.

Where to for 2016?

While investors will no doubt be hoping for something of a rebound from the country’s blue chips, the same problems that hindered their progress in 2015 will likely remain in 2016.

Commodity prices are expected to continue falling, dragging on the miners; economic and regulatory headwinds are tipped to hit the banks while cashed-up international retailers will likely continue to rain on Woolworths’ parade.

Whether or not the dairy and infant formula companies mentioned above can continue to heavily outperform the market is one question investors will ask going into 2016, but wherever the big gains come from, it seems they could well be made outside the top 10 or 20 ASX shares again.

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman owns shares of Bellamy's Australia. Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Bellamy's Australia. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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