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Why top brokers are urging you to buy SEEK and these other ASX stocks today

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Investors remain on edge with the S&P/ASX 200 Index (Index:^AXJO) bouncing between gains and losses on conflicting reports of a new US-China trade war.

Those looking to buy any dips in the market may find the following stocks enticing. These are the latest ASX shares leading brokers are recommending investors buy today.

Better than expected

One to watch is the SEEK Limited (ASX: SEK) with Credit Suisse reiterating its “outperform” recommendation on the stock following its profit update.

The online jobs classifieds group provided earnings guidance that was a little ahead of what the broker was expecting.

SEEK is expecting to post revenue of around $1.58 billion and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of about $410 million in FY20. Credit Suisse had pencilled in $1.55 billion and $405 million, respectively.

“Divisionally, Zhaopin, ANZ and Seek Asia have continued to see a recovery with Zhaopin May billings only down 10% y/y and lower costs mitigating the earnings impact,” said the broker.

Management also managed to increase its debt covenants, which is reassuring to investors that the group won’t run into trouble with its lenders.

On the downside, SEEK’s Latin America operations are more heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and that will force management to take a $190 million to $230 million writedown.

Credit Suisse’s price target on the stock is $24 a share.

Deserving a premium

Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley stuck to its “overweight” recommendation on the Metcash Limited (ASX: MTS) share price after yesterday’s profit results announcement.

“We had expected a strong trading update but were still surprised (most notably with Liquor and Hardware),” said the broker.

“Beyond current tailwinds we believe MTS warrants a higher multiple vs. history given diversification and balance sheet strength.”

Management reported 9% growth in its grocery distribution business in the first seven weeks of FY20. This is despite the loss of the Drakes contract.

Morgan Stanley estimates that this means growth in supermarkets was actually running around 11% when the broker was only forecasting around 9%.

The broker upped its price target on the stock to $3.50 from $3.30 a share.

Back in businesses

Finally, the Stockland Corporation Ltd (ASX: SGP) share price surged by 4.1% in after lunch trade to $3.66 after Goldman Sachs restated its “buy” recommendation on the property group.

Stockland provided an update on property revaluation and dividend. The value of its commercial property portfolio will decline by 6%, which is better than what the market expected.

Its commercial properties include malls, which have been hit by the coronavirus lockdown. However, its malls are reopening faster than expected with around 95% of its retail tenants by income starting to trade again.

The devaluation also compares favourably with its peers with GPT Group (ASX: GPT) cutting the value of its retail portfolio by 9% and Vicinity Centres (ASX: VCX) expecting an 11% to 13% drop.

Stockland also said it expected to pay a second half distribution of 10.6 cents per share. This takes the full year payout to 24.1 cents when consensus was expecting only 23.9 cents.

Goldman’s price target on the stock is $4.43 a share.

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 June 30th

Motley Fool contributor Brendon Lau has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended SEEK 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 Scott Phillips.

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