How to invest in data centres with ASX shares

The data centre industry is exciting, it could see strong growth.

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Investing in industries with promising growth tailwinds can deliver good returns. A few ASX shares can give us that exposure.

I'm going to discuss three stocks that are heavily investing in providing the infrastructure that the Internet and artificial intelligence need to operate. That means data centres.

NextDC Ltd (ASX: NXT)

NextDC provides the strongest exposure to data centres — that's what the company's entire business is about.

This ASX share recently raised $1.3 billion in capital to accelerate the development and fit-out of its Sydney and Melbourne markets.

For the 12 months to 31 December 2023, its contracted utilisation increased 77% to 149MW. Its forward order book of 68.8MW is projected to convert into billings across FY25 to FY29, driving future growth in revenue and earnings. And the company is building multiple data centres across Australia.

According to NextDC, the global data centre market grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15% between 2017 and 2023, supported by megatrends in digitisation and cloud migration.

The emergence of the AI megatrend and the pace of adoption is forecast to accelerate the global data centre market's growth to an estimated 19% CAGR between 2024 and 2027.

Macquarie Technology Group Ltd (ASX: MAQ)

This company describes itself as "Australia's data centre, cloud, cyber security and telecom company for mid to large business and government customers".

Macquarie Technology also recently carried out a capital raising to help fund land and buildings for new data centres.

In the FY24 first-half result, the ASX share said its data centre business' projected total IT load was 60MW. In HY24, data centres made up 11% of revenue and a third of its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA). Data centre EBITDA grew by 5.3% in HY24 to $17.2 million.

The company says that two out of three 'hyperscalers' are customers. It's also a sovereign supplier to the Australian federal government, underpinning its secure internet gateway business.

Goodman Group (ASX: GMG)

Goodman is the owner and developer of significant industrial properties, with warehouses being the core segment.

However, the ASX share is now also heavily investing in data centres. Its key focus is securing additional power, advancing planning, and commencing site infrastructure works to "provide certainty on project milestones."

Goodman said it's well-positioned to capture strong demand for new, high-value, high-tier data centre facilities in supply-constrained locations.

In the FY24 first-half result, Goodman said its global power bank had increased to 4GW across 12 major global cities. It has secured 2.1GW of power, with a further 1.9GW in the advanced procurement stages.

In addition, Goodman said several sites owned by Goodman and the partnerships it's involved with are currently under review for potential data centre use. Goodman said it's seeing attractive development margins on existing and new projects. The data centres under construction currently represent approximately 37% of WIP.

Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Goodman Group. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Goodman Group. 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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