Two top share tips from veteran fund manager

Geoff Wilson of Wilson Asset Management is a well-known Australian fund manager and has been around for a long time so it may pay investors to listen when he speaks.

Despite the more than 12% fall in the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) over the past 12 months, Wilson has told Fairfax Media that he is nervous about the market and holds 37% of his senior fund’s assets in cash. He’s also investing more heavily in the top 100-200 shares on the market, rather than the top 100 leaders.

That nervousness is caused by the fact that despite Australian interest rates at record low levels for some years now, they have failed to stimulate the economy – a situation many countries have found themselves in, particularly in Europe, where some interest rates are now negative.

Maybe we are now going back to 1900-1960 – a low growth, low inflation environment,” he said, adding, “Maybe this is as good as it gets.

But despite the outlook, Wilson did share two tips with Fairfax

Pacific Brands Ltd (ASX: PBG)

According to Fairfax, Wilson likes the company because it has vastly simplified its business to just 8 brands including the flagships of Bonds (47% of sales) and Sheridan (24% of sales). Pacific Brands has also moved into retail, opening its own stores as well as offering products to other retailers as a wholesaler. As a result, the company has reported impressive growth in revenues and net profit, restarted paying dividends this year and that looks set to continue.

Southern Cross Media Group Ltd (ASX: SXL)

The Media group owns and operates several metropolitan radio stations and is a regional free-to-air (FTA) television broadcaster for the Seven, Nine and Ten networks. Nine Entertainment Co Holdings Ltd (ASX: NEC) recently grabbed a 9.99% stake in Southern Cross, as the government gets set to relax media ownership rules from July.

Southern Cross also earns a majority of its income from radio ($121 million metro and $84 million regional) compared to its TV revenues ($104.3 million), so it’s not as exposed to the structural decline of FTA television. As a bonus, Southern Cross also pays a 5.9% fully franked dividend.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn't own shares in any companies mentioned. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga

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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