With the ASX falling by over 7% in 2016, bargain-hunting investors may be able to bag themselves a number of high quality stocks at discounted prices. Clearly, there is a real risk that the ASX and its constituents will post further declines in the short run and volatility is likely to be relatively high as investors remain nervous regarding the market’s outlook. However, long term investors could take advantage of lower prices and lock in strong capital gain potential.
One stock which has fallen by more than the ASX is diversified financial company Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG). Its shares are down by 11% since the turn of the year and a key reason for this is Macquarie’s beta of 2. This means that its shares are likely to be more volatile than the wider index and during periods of market falls, Macquarie’s shares should (in theory) fall by twice as much as the ASX. This is a key risk of buying a slice of Macquarie.
In the long run though, Macquarie looks set to deliver much improved share price performance and central to this is its strategy. Macquarie is now focused on adding annuity-style businesses to its portfolio, with key recent examples being the Esanda Dealer Finance network and the aircraft leasing operation – both of which were purchased last year.
Such assets offer a relatively reliable income stream over a long period and with Macquarie’s bottom line due to rise at an annualised rate of 11.1% during the next two years, its price to earnings growth (PEG) ratio stands at 1.17. This is lower than the ASX’s PEG ratio of 1.36 and alongside a yield of 4.8%, indicates that Macquarie’s shares are attractively priced. Furthermore, with Macquarie enjoying sector diversity and geographical diversity, it benefits from having a relatively reliable earnings stream during what could prove to be an uncertain period.
Meanwhile, Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd’s (ASX: CCL) share price has also fallen by more than the ASX in 2016, with it being down 12% year-to-date. This underperformance has the potential to continue, with a major risk of investing in Coca-Cola Amatil being the implementation of an ambitious turnaround strategy.
With Coca-Cola Amatil aiming to cut costs, introduce new products, as well as expand its international presence and refocus its marketing budget, it is making a number of major changes in a short period of time. Failure to successfully implement one or more of them could cause a deterioration in investor sentiment, although according to recent updates and looking at Coca-Cola Amatil’s forecast earnings growth rate of 6.1% for 2016, it appears to be turning around the poor performance of recent years.
Furthermore, with Coca-Cola Amatil trading on a price to sales (P/S) ratio of 1.25 versus 1.3 for the wider market, it appears to offer good value for money. This is further evidenced by it having a yield of 5.2%, which is 40 basis points higher than the yield of the wider index.
While the Australian economy beat GDP forecasts in the September quarter, further interest rate cuts could lie ahead with global economic growth being highly uncertain. Therefore, a high yield stock such as Coca-Cola Amatil could become increasingly popular among investors.
Despite this, there are 3 other ASX stocks that I believe could outperform Coca-Cola Amatil and Macquarie.
In fact, they have recently been named as The Motley Fool's 3 Top Blue-Chips For 2016 and could make a real impact on your bottom line as we move through the year. As a result, it's well worth finding out more about them.
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Motley Fool contributor Peter Stephens has no position in any stocks mentioned. 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.