Leading fund managers name their top ASX share picks for 2019

Some of the leading Australian fund managers have named their top ASX share picks for 2019.

A panel of experts spoke to Livewire to deliver their favourite ideas for the year ahead.

Here are those ASX share tips:

National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) – Matthew Kidman, Centennial Asset Management

Mr Kidman, perhaps surprisingly, went for NAB. He described NAB as the cheapest of the big four banks and its dividend may be the one most under threat, however a dividend 10% lower would still offer a big yield. But, if franking credits do change then NAB’s high yield (excluding franking credits) could seem attractive to investors, sending the share price higher.

Xero Limited (ASX: XRO) – Ben Clark, TMS Capital

Mr Clark went for cloud accounting software favourite Xero. Its share price has fallen in recent months, but there are a number of potential factors that could boost earnings. He thinks its revenue could double in two years, the UK is forcing digitisation of tax returns (where Xero is number one) and there is payroll reform in Australia. Plus, Xero is steadily growing in the USA.

Alacer Gold Corp (ASX: AQG) – David Allingham, Eley Griffiths Group

Mr Allingham said that despite the gold sector having a strong run in recent months, Alacer hadn’t benefited – at the time of recording the interview at least, it has rallied strongly since 20 December 2018. He said that Alacer Gold was trading at half of its book value and that its share price could reach $4. It’s currently at $2.70.

Murray River Organics Ltd (ASX: MRG) – Dean Fergie, Cyan Investment Management

Mr Fergie went for the fruit and nut company Murray River Organics, which supplies major supermarket customers like Aldi and Coles Group Limited (ASX: COL). He said it has new management, a new board, it’s trading below its NTA and it could be a turnaround idea.

Foolish takeaway

This is a diverse group of picks. If I could only go for one it would be Xero – it’s still growing at a very fast pace, it has excellent platform effects, pleasing recurring revenue and is becoming a leading global technology business.

But, Xero still isn’t cheap and could fall further in the coming months. There may be safer options in the short-term.

Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of COLESGROUP DEF SET, National Australia Bank Limited, and Xero. 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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