‘Cracking buy’: Experts pick 2 enticing ASX transport shares

These stocks are trading at a discount due to uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. But 3 fund managers reckon a comeback is inevitable.

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A fresh wave of COVID-19 has seen Australia’s two largest cities shut down over the last few weeks.

So it’s still an uncertain time to be in the transport business.

However, does this mean the industry only has upside from here as the world emerges from its pandemic slumber?

Three stock experts recently weighed in, picking out 2 quality ASX shares they believe investors could consider.

Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (ASX: SYD)

The monopoly airport in Sydney has caught the eye of multiple fund managers.

TMS Capital portfolio manager Ben Clark said this ASX transport share is “a cracking buy”.

“Whether it’s 2022 or 2023, it will recover, and I think actually travel will overshoot on the upside to where the passenger numbers would have been if not for COVID,” he told Livewire.

“And then the other thing I think is that we’re all probably going to need to spend a bit more time in airports as travel ramps back up. There’s probably some new revenue streams — maybe doing testing before we get on flights, etc.”

Sydney Airport shares were up 1.38% on Friday to finish the day on $5.86. The stock is down 8.58% this year.

Wavestone Capital portfolio manager Catherine Allfrey agreed that it was inevitable the airport would come roaring back.

“We’re prepared to wait that out with a company like Sydney Airport, which we see as a monopoly asset here in Sydney,” she told Livewire.

“It’s an iconic asset and those tourists will come back and again, that company will thrive. So that’s one company that we think in terms of a long-term trend will be a beneficiary.”

Clark said the unknown of precisely when travel would truly be back was causing “a great price opportunity”.

“So you need to buy it while the uncertainty reigns.”

Atlas Arteria Group (ASX: ALX)

Another company spun out of Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG), Atlas Arteria owns and runs toll roads in the US and Europe.

Watermark Funds Management chief investment officer Justin Braitling rates it a “strong buy”.

“These European infrastructure assets have recovered nicely. Traffic flyers will normalise,” he told Livewire.

“It’s on a 6% yield and, unlike a lot of other infrastructure plays, the dividend should increase nicely in the years ahead.”

Clark observed that road traffic in France has been “resilient”, currently running at 75% of pre-pandemic levels.

“The major asset these guys own is the highway that connects Paris to Lyon,” he said.

“France is opening up. Tourism is really starting to kick off again in Europe, albeit in fits and spurts.”

Like Sydney Airport, Clark said that the Atlas Arteria share price is selling for “a big discount to where it was”. 

“Also a lot of the debt is now fixed, whereas the tolls are linked to inflation. So this is probably one of those players that actually could do okay in an inflationary environment.”

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Motley Fool contributor Tony Yoo owns shares of Macquarie Group Limited and Sydney Airport Holdings Limited. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Macquarie Group Limited. 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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