Geoff Wilson is known as one of the more successful fund managers on the ASX. The fund managing company Mr. Wilson heads – Wilson Asset Management (WAM) – is known for its listed investment companies (LICs). WAM has a stable of seven LICs, many of which have been around for years, and have a strong performance history. The flagship WAM Capital Limited (ASX: WAM) LIC, for instance, has been around since 1999, and has delivered an average return of 16.1% per annum since then (not accounting for fees and taxes). Evidently, Geoff Wilson is a fund manager who is probably worth paying attention to.
So that’s what we’re here for! Every month, WAM puts out a market update discussing the ASX shares its various LICs are buying and selling. Here are some of the shares that WAM’s LICs were bullish on (as of 31 October).
WAM’s latest ASX share picks
Kicking off with the flagship WAM Capital, and WAM names Nine Entertainment Co Holdings Ltd (ASX: NEC), and Bapcor Ltd (ASX: BAP) as the portfolio’s biggest contributors over the month of October. WAM notes that Nine is, in its view, well positioned to “benefit from increased advertising spending in the lead up to the Christmas period” through its various television, streaming, radio and print assets.
Turning to Bapcor, WAM believes the benefits the car parts provider has enjoyed this year will continue. It notes that the company is cashed up and “well placed to make earnings accretive acquisitions”.
Some more ‘buys’
Bapcor also features in another Wilson LIC’s picks for the month: WAM Research Limited (ASX: WAX). According to WAM, WAM Research is also bullish on Bapcor, as well as fitness club operator Viva Leisure Ltd (ASX: VVA). The managers at WAM Research believe Viva is well positioned to benefit from Victoria’s easing of lockdown restrictions over the coming months.
WAM’s large-cap LIC, WAM Leaders Ltd (ASX: WLE), is focusing on different areas. WAM reports that its favourite ASX shares for the month included BlueScope Steel Limited (ASX: BSL) and Challenger Ltd (ASX: CGF). For BlueScope, WAM expects that global stimulus programs will benefit this steelmaker. Turning to Challenger, WAM is confident this ASX share is undervalued on current pricing. WAM stated “we believe that there is significant value, particularly in the funds management business, that is not appreciated by the market”.
My Fool colleague, Tristan Harrison, covered some of WAM Microcap Ltd (ASX: WMI)’s latest picks this morning. But WAM’s only internationally-focused LIC, WAM Global Ltd (ASX: WGB), is reportedly bullish on Quanta Services Inc (NYSE: PWR) as well as Avantor Inc (NYSE: AVTR). Quanta is an infrastructure company WAM believes is well-placed to benefit from “grid modernisation, renewables growth and 5G rollout” over in the United States. Meanwhile, WAM sees undervaluation and “additional upside” for Avantor, given the company has opportunities surrounding coronavirus vaccine production.