Is it time to sell Rio Tinto Limited, ANZ Bank and Wesfarmers Ltd shares?

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The share prices of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ), Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) and Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) have put in a poor showing throughout 2015.

So, leading into 2016, is now the right time to sell ANZ, Rio and Wesfarmers shares, and move onto greener pastures?

ANZ Banking Group – 2015 return: Down 13%

ANZ Banking Group, much like the rest of Australia’s big four banks, has been unable to break-even in 2015, with its share price falling more than 23% from its peak in April. Volatility in Chinese share markets earlier in 2015, increasing regulation and a forecast slowdown in local credit markets all played their part in bringing down the share price of Australia’s fourth largest bank.

Rio Tinto – 2015 return: down 21%

Plunging iron ore, coal, copper and aluminum prices have wreaked havoc on the share prices of Australia’s major miners, including Rio Tinto. Rio Tinto’s most lucrative commodity is iron ore, and while Brazil’s Vale SA is larger in terms of total tonnes shipped, it’s believed that Rio has the world’s lowest breakeven price. Unfortunately, although Rio may not go bust in the current commodity price rout, the outlook for commodities remains bleak. Therefore, 2016 may again prove to be another volatile year for Rio Tinto’s share price.

Wesfarmers – 2015 return: up 0.81%

Shares of Wesfarmers (the owner of Coles, Bunnings Warehouse, Kmart, Officeworks and Target) have performed ok in 2015, once dividends are included. Indeed, the company’s primary profit generator, Coles, has outperformed Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW) strongly for many consecutive quarters. Bunnings Warehouse, Officeworks and Kmart have also been kicking goals under the capable management of Wesfarmers. Unfortunately, with their shares again trading over $42, if investors want a part of Wesfarmers’ first-class businesses they’ll need to pay a fair price.

Buy, Hold or Sell?

After a poor showing by ANZ and Rio Tinto shares in 2015, the next 12 months looks to be more of the same, in my opinion. Indeed, while commodity prices or credit markets may unexpectedly rebound, the risk-adjusted return is still not as compelling as it could be. Finally, although I think Wesfarmers’ shares are a little pricey at $42, investors could do far worse than slowly accumulate some shares for their long-term share portfolio in 2016.

A better buy than Wesfarmers

In my opinion, Wesfarmers' shares are slightly outside the buy zone, but that's okay with me because The Motley Fool just issued a brand-new report, complete with all the details on our expert analysts' #1 dividend stock for 2016 - and I think it is a GREAT buy! Simply, click here now for your FREE copy, including the name and code! No credit card details or payment required.

Motley Fool writer/analyst Owen Raszkiewicz has a financial interest in Woolworths. 

Owen welcomes your feedback on Google plus (see below), LinkedIn or you can follow him on Twitter @ASXinvest.

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 has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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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