Top broker says focus on value instead of growth with these 6 ASX shares

According to global banking and financial services giant Deutsche Bank the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) is fairly valued now despite trading at an above-average estimated forward price-to-earnings ratio of 16.

Although the index as a whole is judged to be fair value, the Australian Financial Review reports that Deutsche Bank analysts believe there are a number of global risks on the horizon that mean investors should focus on value rather than growth right now.

The US election, Brexit vote, instability in Brazil, and China’s economic policy could all cause the kind of turmoil in financial markets that we witnessed at the start of the year. This could lead to shares on the ASX that trade at high earnings multiples being brought back down to earth.

So Deutsche’s analysts have picked out six ASX shares which they believe are a mixture of great value and have resistance to volatility through low betas. These are the picks:

Ansell Limited (ASX: ANN)

The shares of the leading provider of health and safety protection solutions are trading at 14x estimated FY 2016 earnings. I agree with Deutsche Bank’s view that they are good value now and could climb higher. I also feel they offer strong defensive qualities that would be invaluable in volatile markets.

Harvey Norman Holdings Limited (ASX: HVN)

Harvey Norman is trading at just 16x estimated FY 2016 earnings, compared to the consumer discretionary average of 22. Combined with a fully franked 4.7% dividend and a strong earnings growth forecast, it certainly looks like a good investment today in my opinion.

Healthscope Ltd (ASX: HSO)

The rising demand for healthcare services as a result of an aging population makes Healthscope a great investment today in my view. The fact that Ramsay Health Care Limited (ASX: RHC) shares are changing hands at around 29 times estimated FY 2016 earnings, makes Healthscope’s forward PE ratio of 24 look like good value if you ask me.

Link Administration Holdings Ltd (ASX: LNK)

Despite the fact that shares of the market-leading administrator of financial ownership data have climbed by almost 14% so far in 2016, Deutsche Bank sees it as still being great value. In a recent presentation management guided to net profit of $95.5 million for the full year, meaning the shares are trading on an approximate forward PE of 31 at present.

Star Entertainment Group Ltd (ASX: SGR)

Star Entertainment is a gaming and entertainment company with three casinos in operation across Australia. According to CommSec, analysts expect it to grow its earnings by a massive 23% through to FY 2018. I believe this might go some way to explaining why Deutsche Bank has picked it out today.

Vocus Communications Limited (ASX: VOC)

Vocus is a fantastic business providing fibre-optic internet, data centre, and broadband services. Although personally I would class Vocus as a growth share, I do agree that it is a great investment today. I believe the roll out of the NBN has provided the company with the potential to grow earnings at an incredible rate for a number of years to come. At 35x estimated FY 2016 earnings it isn’t cheap, but with these growth prospects few will mind paying a premium.

I think Deutsche Bank has done a good job of picking out some quality shares, however there are a few that it has missed. These shares here could be even better picks if you ask me.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. 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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