7 more ideas for buying ASX shares this reporting season: expert

The superpowers might be jostling for the new world order and the global economy might be on the brink, but investors can't forget company performance.

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Reporting season continues amid a background of geopolitical tensions and economic turbulence.

Morgans analyst Andrew Tang has been monitoring all the financial reports and regularly declaring his favourites to buy.

Here are the latest seven ASX shares he likes:

Explosive growth while the rest of the world struggles

Lovisa Holdings Ltd (ASX: LOV) has been a darling on the ASX, rising 51% over the past 12 months when most other non-mining stocks have been in the red.

But the results just announced still exceeded Morgans' expectations.

"Lovisa reported net profit after tax [NPAT] of $50.5 million (pre-AASB 16) — 1% higher than our forecast," Tang wrote on the Morgans blog.

"Sales growth was 45%, driven by store rollout and +12.5% like-for-like sales growth."

The current growth is at breakneck pace.

"Lovisa opened a net of 86 new stores in 1H23, more than in all of FY22."

Tang's team is recommending a buy for Lovisa shares and has upgraded future earnings expectations for the company.

'Momentum in the business is strong'

Meanwhile, Superloop Ltd (ASX: SLC) exceeded Morgans' expectations for earnings but slightly missed for net profit after tax.

But the stock is a buy, with the broadband provider heading in the right direction.

"Momentum in the business is strong with Superloop delivering 28% YoY organic revenue growth and EBITDA lifting more due to positive leverage," said Tang.

"Underlying EBITDA was up 89% YoY and operating cash flow conversion was impressive at 103%."

Healthcare goods distributor EBOS Group Ltd (ASX: EBO) enjoyed "a record 1H23 result", showing off "double-digit gross order receipts and EBITDA growth through acquisitions and organically".

According to Tang, the company has successfully navigated through "an operationally challenging environment with supply chain issues and cost pressures".

"EBOS continues to be a leader and hold strong market positions in both healthcare and animal care operating segments," he said.

"We have upgraded our EPS forecast by ~1% in FY24/25."

Energy sector still in demand in 2023

While Karoon Energy Ltd (ASX: KAR)'s wasn't mind-blowing by any means, the result left the "valuation in its dust", according to Tang.

"Even the lower-than-expected 1H23 result with EBITDAX of US$176 million puts Karoon on an EBITDAX multiple of just ~2.0x, a sector low," he said.

"Karoon maintaining FY23 unit cost and production guidance highlights the bulk of earnings are skewed to 2H23."

Also in the energy sector, Tang noted Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) posted "record profits and cash flow, upsized shareholder returns and developments across several key assets". 

"On balance, a steady 2H22 result, falling just short of consensus expectations. Strong final dividend of 15.1 US cents, vs Morgans' [forecast] 14.3 US cents."

Both these energy players are a buy right now for the Morgans team.

'Remarkably strong' businesses

Insurance claims repairer Johns Lyng Group Ltd (ASX: JLG) posted a "remarkably strong" half-yearly result due to "unprecedented" amount of work from catastrophic (CAT) weather events.

"EBITDA of $59.4 million — 15% above our forecast of $51.7 million — was up 63% vs pcp," said Tang.

"Underlying NPAT of $25.9 million was 10% above our forecast and up 82% vs pcp. FY23 guidance was upgraded by ~5.5% on a headline basis."

The stock is a buy, with more catalysts to come for the business.

"We maintain our positive view on JLG, and continue to see it well placed to benefit from ongoing elevated claims activity, further market share gains across its four key growth pillars in Australia, US and New Zealand, and ongoing market consolidation via M&A."

Hotel Property Investments Ltd (ASX: HPI) is not a name often heard of, but Morgans likes the investor of pubs.

Tang noted that its dividend guidance was maintained after the latest result, which indicates "an implied distribution yield of +5%". 

"The portfolio is valued at $1.25 billion, weighted average lease expiry +10 years, and hotel occupancy 100%."

The net tangible asset was recalculated to $4.06, which is far above the current stock price.

"HPI's focus remains on portfolio quality via the refurbishment program (well progressed), as well as potential asset divestments."

Motley Fool contributor Tony Yoo has positions in Johns Lyng Group. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Johns Lyng Group, Lovisa, and Superloop. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Hotel Property Investments. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Johns Lyng Group and Lovisa. 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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