It’s no secret that sentiment on the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) this week will be driven by one key event – the US Presidential Election. US citizens will take to the polls on Tuesday 8 November (US time) to vote on who will run the country for the next four years. The hotly contested race has sent global markets lower, as election uncertainty and the divergent policies of Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump offer investors little assurance on which direction markets will take once the election is over. Accordingly, the broad-based sell-off provides some cheap buying opportunities for long-term investors. In…
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It’s no secret that sentiment on the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) this week will be driven by one key event – the US Presidential Election. US citizens will take to the polls on Tuesday 8 November (US time) to vote on who will run the country for the next four years.
The hotly contested race has sent global markets lower, as election uncertainty and the divergent policies of Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump offer investors little assurance on which direction markets will take once the election is over.
Accordingly, the broad-based sell-off provides some cheap buying opportunities for long-term investors. In my opinion, CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) and Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) are two of the best buys at the moment.
Shares in global biotech leader CSL plummeted over 10% in October as investor jitters around slowing growth prospects and the upcoming US election hampered its share price. In my view, this pullback in Australia’s largest healthcare stock makes it a buy at its most recent close of $98.66. This given demand for its products will be largely unaffected by the US election outcome. Here’s why.
In its 2016 full-year results, management reported statutory net profit after tax (NPAT) was down 11%, despite growing underlying NPAT (in constant currency) by a respectable 5%. The slowdown in NPAT growth was attributable to the lower-than-expected contribution from CSL’s recent acquisition of Novartis AG’s influenza vaccines business – Seqirus – and increased competition in the blood and haemophilia products market (from US giant Baxter International Inc).
Nonetheless, with management forecasting a return to earnings (and NPAT) growth in 2017, I believe the recent market slump disregards CSL’s resilient business model. CSL currently trades on an underlying price-earnings of 23.5x, well below its long-term average of about 28x, which makes this defensive business a solid long-term buy at current prices.
Like CSL, Telstra operates an inherently defensive business given its customers will continue to require its essential telephony and internet services, irrespective of who becomes the US President.
Although Telstra’s near-term earnings remain under pressure, with increased competition in the NBN rollout and higher capital expenditure expected to crimp profits, I believe investors are sufficiently compensated with Telstra’s market-leading yield.
Based on Friday’s close of $4.90, Telstra shares offer income reliant investors a stable 6.3% fully-franked yield. Even if this yield does not increase further, Telstra’s coveted dividend trumps (not the Donald kind) the nearest bank deposit rates on offer.
Accordingly, with shares in Australia’s largest telecommunications company trading near 52-week lows, I believe the market wide slump offers an opportune entry point for income-seeking investors.
Whilst I am aware a new US President will have some form of impact on the global economy, I believe share markets will inevitably take the changes in their stride. Accordingly, with the current meltdown offering some great opportunities to buy defensive businesses like CSL and Telstra at cheap prices, I believe long-term investors should jump in and buy with confidence.
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Motley Fool contributor Rachit Dudhwala owns shares of Telstra Limited. 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.