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Large cap stocks, whilst not immune to downturns in the economy, tend to have the stability required by long term investors looking to add defensive qualities to their portfolio.

Here are five large cap stocks that investors might want to consider:

  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) is the largest bank in Australia with $976 billion in total assets. It is also one of the most profitable banks in the world with a 16% return on equity, higher than its peers in the USA and Europe. CBA also pays a fully franked 5.6% dividend yield. Whilst it may face some challenges in the short term, CBA is expected to deliver steady returns over the long term.
  • Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) is an oil and gas company with global operations encompassing liquefied natural gas, natural gas, condensate, and crude oil. Woodside will benefit from long term global economic growth as demand for energy and gas in particular increases. The company has significant experience in managing LNG projects and also has long term contracts with large utility companies in Asia such as Tokyo Electric and Osaka Gas.
  • Westfield Corp Ltd (ASX: WFD) is a real estate investment company with a portfolio of 34 high quality shopping centers in major cities like London, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Despite concerns over the impact of the ‘Amazon effect’, Westfield has experienced higher tenant occupancy rates as it implements its strategy of divesting from smaller regional malls and focusing on its premium malls to attract higher-income earners. Westfield will likely benefit from investors’ search for yield in a low interest rate environment.
  • Brambles Limited (ASX: BXB) is a supply-chain logistics company operating in more than 50 countries around the world. It has a well established supply chain network which locks in customers and it benefits from its global operations that provide economies of scale and cost advantages. Brambles has been out of favour recently with its share price dropping 25% over the last year, but its high return on equity which is consistently over 20% makes it likely to be a solid performer over the long term.
  • Ramsay Health Care Limited (ASX: RHC) operates over 200 hospitals and surgery facilities in Australia, the UK, France, Indonesia and Malaysia. Mega trends like an ageing population take a long time time to play out but Ramsay is well positioned to benefit from increasing demand for healthcare in the long run. If its management team can continue to make capital investments that meet their internal 15% return on invested capital hurdle rate, Ramsay may provide a decent return for shareholders over the long term.

Where to invest $1,000 right now

When investing expert Scott Phillips has a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the flagship Motley Fool Share Advisor newsletter he has run for more than eight years has provided thousands of paying members with stock picks that have doubled, tripled or even more.*

Scott just revealed what he believes are the five best ASX stocks for investors to buy right now. These stocks are trading at dirt-cheap prices and Scott thinks they are great buys right now.

*Returns as of February 15th 2021

Motley Fool contributor Kevin Gandiya owns shares in the Vanguard Australian Property (ASX:VAP) index fund which has positions in Westfield Corp Ltd. He has no position in any of the other stocks mentioned. 

You can find Kevin on Twitter @KevinGandiya 

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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