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Here’s how March 2016’s top stock picks performed over the last 12 months

As a follow up to today’s publication of top stock picks for March 2017 we thought it might be worth taking a look at how March 2016’s picks performed over the past year to keep us honest in our stock recommendations, among other reasons.

It should be noted though that 12 months is a short investment horizon and not too much can be read into the relative success or not of a stock pick over such a short time frame. With that disclaimer let’s take a look at how the picks of the writers from March 2016 have performed.

All performance is recorded on a 12-month historical basis from March 2 2016 to March 2 2017 at the time of writing and excluding dividends (source: Google Finance).

For comparison the commodity-price rebound supported S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has gained 14.9% over the past year.

Andew Mudie: QBE Insurance Group Ltd (ASX: QBE)

The QBE share price has gained 13.6% (+ dividends around 4%) thanks to its improving underlying profits and dividends. The election of Donald Trump in the U.S. also appears to have helped QBE deliver a strong total return over the year.         

Motley Fool contributor Andrew Mudie owns shares in QBE Insurance. 

Ry Padarath: Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG)

The Macquarie share price has gained an impressive 32.3% (+ dividends around 5.2%) over the past year thanks to rising equity markets and the growing strength of its annuity style earnings. As predicted it has also been a beneficiary of the US dollar’s strength.

Motley Fool contributor Ry Padarath owns share in Macquarie Group Ltd.

Rachit Dudhwala, Chris Georges and Sean O’Neill: Retail Food Group (ASX: RFG)

The Retail Food Group share price has gained 28% (+ dividends around 5.2%) over the past year thanks to its double-digit profit growth and dividend lifts. As predicted the growing strength of its international businesses appears to be supporting performance.

Motley Fool contributors Rachit Dudhwala, Chris Georges and Sean O’Neill own share in Retail Food Group.

James Mickleboro: Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd (ASX: BEN)

The Bendigo Bank share price has gained 44% (+ dividends around 5.5%) over the past year as it recovered ground from a knocked-down share price correctly identified by writer James Mickleboro. This is an exceptionally good return for a mid-cap business valued at more than $5 billion.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no financial interest in Bendigo Bank.

Tim McArthur: Ansell Limited (ASX: ANN)

The Ansell share price is up 24.4% over the past year (+ dividends around 3%) after the group posted a year of flat revenues and profits. However this time last year its share price was correctly identified as being cheap after the market sold off the stock in reaction to its February 2016 interim profit result.

Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur owns shares in Ansell Limited.

Matt Bugden: Challenger Ltd (ASX: CGF)

The Challenger share price is up 46.1% (+ dividends around 4%) over the past year after writer Matt Bugden correctly identified its attractive margins and demographic tailwinds as being likely to support more strong profit growth.

Motley Fool contributor Matt Bugden owns shares in Challenger Ltd.

Ryan Newman: Burson Group Ltd (ASX: BAP)

The Burson share price is up 15.2% over the past year (+ dividends around 2.5%) as its scalability and double-digit revenue and profit growth delivered investors some great total returns. As Ryan noted at the time: “Shares of Burson Group aren’t cheap, per se, but sometimes you have to pay up for quality”.

Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman owns shares in Burson Group.

Regan Pearson: Gentrack Group Ltd (ASX: GTK)

The Gentrack share price is up 52.4% (+ dividends around 3.5%) over the past year and is the best performer among a strong field from March 2016’s picks. As Regan correctly identified the software services company’s shares were on a very attractive valuation compared to forecasts for strong growth rates that came to be.

Motley Fool contributor Regan Pearson owns shares in Gentrack Group.

Tom Richardson: MNF Group Ltd (ASX: MNF)

The MNF Group share price is up 38% over the past year (+ dividends around 1.5%) as the group continued to deliver on its ambitions to lift earnings per share and dividends at healthy double-digit rates as forecast. It retains a strong balance sheet and decent outlook for continued growth under the expert guidance of its founder and CEO Rene Sugo.

Motley Fool contributor Tom Richardson owns shares in MNF Group.

Foolish takeaway

The Foolish writers’ March 2016 picks returned an average of 32.6% (+ dividends) over the last 12 months, without a miner in site. This kind of exceptional stock picking is almost impossible to maintain forever, but goes to show there’s no better way to build wealth than buying and holding quality companies on an attractive valuations for the long term.

Stay tuned next month where we’ll take a look at April 2016’s picks….

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Motley Fool contributor Motley Fool Staff has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Bapcor, Challenger Limited, and Retail Food Group Limited. 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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