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10 top ASX 200 shares I’d buy for 2019

We are nearly at the end of 2018, what a crazy year it has been. The ALL ORDINARIES (Index: ^AXAO) (ASX: XAO) managed to go above 6,450 and the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) managed to reach above 6,300. For a brief time at least.

However, since those highs the market has fallen quite substantially. Indeed, over the past six months the ASX 200 has fallen by over 10%.

With that in mind, here are ten ASX 200 shares I think that could be worth buying for 2019:

Bapcor Ltd (ASX: BAP)

Bapcor is the auto parts leader in Australia and New Zealand. I think it’s a buy because Bapcor is likely to achieve another year of double digit profit growth and it also has a very defensive set of earnings. It is expanding into Asia and could become a major player in truck parts over time with its recent acquisition.

Brickworks Limited (ASX: BKW)

The decades-old business has steadily been growing earnings for many years thanks to a rising population. Its new USA acquisition called Glen Gery gives the company a pleasing new growth avenue in the huge North American market. The defensive dividend is another bonus.

Challenger Ltd (ASX: CGF)

The market-leading annuity business has seen its share price fall significantly in recent months, which has boosted its dividend yield and shrunk its p/e ratio further. A growing retiree population, helpful superannuation rules and compounding should increase the size of annuities over time, which should be a good boost for Challenger’s profit.

Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN)

Australia’s biggest casino business owns important entertainment assets in Melbourne and Perth. Once Crown Sydney is opened in a few years there could be a significant boost to earnings, so the current recent share price weakness could make it a good time to buy.

InvoCare Limited (ASX: IVC)

The country’s largest funeral operator has very attractive tailwinds. Death volumes are expected to grow by 1.4% per annum between 2016 to 2025 and then increase by 2.2% per annum from 2025 to 2050. However, the current death rate is temporarily (thankfully) lower, but that should revert to the normal growth rate at some point.

REA Group Limited (ASX: REA)

REA Group owns Australia’s leading property site, realestate.com.au. The falling property prices are causing the number of listings to fall. However, REA Group is demonstrating its quality with continued revenue and EBITDA growth – I think this shows it’s worth holding throughout the property cycle. Its stakes of other international property sites are also very attractive for the long-term.

Seek Limited (ASX: SEK)

If you’re looking for a job, or want an employee, the first place you’re likely to look is on Seek’s website. I think this gives Seek excellent market power as employees and employers will continue to flock to the leader. Its integral substantial holding of the Chinese Zhaopin business could be the biggest value creator for Seek in the coming years.

Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co. Ltd (ASX: SOL)

Soul Patts is arguably one of the best businesses on the ASX. Its impressive history and long-term investment focus have seen it perform very well for shareholders. It keeps beating the market and has been increasing its dividend every year since 2000. Whatever happens next year in the share market, I’d want to own some Soul Patts shares to get through it.

Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB)

The online travel business’ profit is flying higher every year, yet its share price has fallen significantly since reporting season. Its recent acquisition could fuel another strong performance in FY19 as it uses its scale to grow profit margins.

Xero Limited (ASX: XRO)

Xero is, by far, the leading online accounting software business in New Zealand and Australia. Its automation and time-saving tools are proving to be big winners for accountants and small businesses alike. If it can keep winning subscribers in the UK at a strong rate it could eventually be the ASX’s first $50 billion technology business.

Foolish takeaway

Most of these businesses have long-term growth plans, so 2019 alone won’t decide their fates. But, the current market declines has made them all seem even more attractive than they were earlier in the year. If I had to pick two for my own portfolio for 2019 it would be REA Group and Challenger.

Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison owns shares of Bapcor, Challenger Limited, InvoCare Limited, and Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Bapcor, Challenger Limited, Crown Resorts Limited, and Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Xero. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Brickworks, InvoCare Limited, REA Group Limited, SEEK Limited, and Webjet Ltd. 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 Scott Phillips.

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