Top ASX Stock Picks for March 2020 // Motley Fool Australia

Top ASX Stock Picks for March 2020 // Motley Fool Australia

Each month, we ask our Foolish writers to pick their favourite ASX shares to buy.  

Here is what they came up with for March 2020…

Brendon Lau: Worley Ltd (ASX: WOR)

Worley’s results showed that worries about its ability to bed down the Jacob’s Engineering acquisition has been overplayed.

The Worley share price looks undervalued given the company’s organic growth profile and contribution from the takeover. Any sell-off in Worley shares due to the falling oil is a buying opportunity as I expect the stock to outperform over the coming months.

Motley Fool contributor Brendon Lau owns shares of Worley Ltd.   

Nikhil Gangaram: Appen Ltd (ASX: APX)

Appen is a global leader in providing data for machine learning and artificial intelligence. The company operates in a sector with great growth potential and is well-positioned to take advantage of these opportunities.

Appen recently beat market expectations after reporting strong earnings and revenue growth for FY19. The ASX 200 tech company reported a 42% increase in full-year EBITDA, a 47% increase in revenue and renewed a contract with one of its largest customers.

Despite initially surging on its full year results, the Appen share price has tanked on the back of overall market weakness. As the market recovers, I think the Appen share price could see more upside in March.

Motley Fool contributor Nikhil Gangaram does not own shares in Appen Ltd.  

Matthew Donald: Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST)

Northern Star Resources has had a tremendous 12 months with the share price storming 55% higher. In the recent half year results for the period ending 31 December 2019, revenue and net profit after tax increased by 31% and 54% respectively.

With economic uncertainty boosting the gold price, solid earnings and a strong balance sheet should support further share price appreciation.

The Chairman, Bill Bearment, in regards to the KCGM acquisition said it “will drive more substantial growth in our net cash flow while maintaining strong overall financial returns”.

I believe this will lead to an improved Northern Star share price and dividends in FY20.

Motley Fool contributor Matthew Donald does not own shares in Northern Star Resources.

Phil Harpur: WiseTech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC) 

WiseTech Global is a leading global developer and provider of software solutions for the logistics industry, across over 150 countries, and is a member of Australia’s WAAAX tech share consortium.

As our global economy continues to grow, logistics has grown more complex. This is where WiseTech Global has managed to carve out a successful and strong niche in the global market, and I see its strong recent growth continuing over the next decade.

With a very strong pullback in its share price over the last week or two, I believe now is a good opportunity for investors with a long-term horizon to buy shares is this market leader. 

Motley Fool contributor Phil Harpur owns shares in WiseTech Global Ltd. 

Lloyd Prout: Altium Limited (ASX: ALU)

Shares of PCB design software company Altium are down 28% since reaching a record high on 17 February. The high growth, high P/E ratio company has (as expected) fallen faster than the overall market of late. This is partly due to guiding to the low end of full-year guidance.

With subscriptions representing a significant portion of revenue, the recent pullback should represent a great entry point into a great company.

Altium has a history of beating its own long-term targets, so I have confidence that it can achieve “market dominance”, by reaching 100,000 subscribers by 2025.

Motley Fool contributor Lloyd Prout owns shares of Altium Ltd and expresses his own opinion.

Tristan Harrison: Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co. Ltd (ASX: SOL)

There is a lot of volatility going on at the moment because of the coronavirus and there is concern about the global economy.

The Soul Patts share price has suffered along with most other things, but it has survived through many wars and recessions. The investment conglomerate is one of the best candidates to ride through any troubles because of its conservative balance sheet and long-term focus. The recent merger decision in the telco sector also helps Soul Patts for the long-term.

I think Soul Patts looks good value today and its dividend is very reassuring too.

Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison owns shares of Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co. Ltd

Michael Tonon: Corporate Travel Management Ltd (ASX: CTD)

February was a tough month for the corporate travel specialist. It saw Corporate Travel shares continue to slide lower to reach 3 year lows closing at just $13.94 on Friday afternoon, with a downgrade issued and uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus being the catalyst for this fall. 

However, it appears these temporary issues have wiped three years of strong growth from Corporate Travel’s share price. While there’s no certainty its shares won’t continue to decline, I believe there is a bright future and in a few years time, this issue will be forgotten. That makes now a great buying opportunity in my eyes.

Motley Fool contributor Michael Tonon owns shares in Corporate Travel Management Ltd.

Kenneth Hall: AGL Energy Ltd (ASX: AGL)

AGL’s dividend yield has crept higher in recent months and is now sitting at 5.8%. That puts AGL well and truly in the frame as a top ASX dividend share right now and I think it could be at the right price.

The AGL share price is down 6.7% in 2020 but I think the technical environment remains strong. East coast gas prices remain high while AGL is well-positioned for any shift towards renewable energy.

With a strong dividend and good long-term share price performance, I think AGL shares could be in the buy zone in March.

Motley Fool contributor Kenneth Hall does not own shares in AGL Energy Ltd.

James Mickleboro: Xero Limited (ASX: XRO)

The Xero share price came under a lot of pressure in February due to the market selloff caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Whilst its decline is disappointing for its shareholders, I think it has created a buying opportunity for non-shareholders.

I’m a big fan of Xero due to the quality and stickiness of its cloud-based accounting platform, the shift to online accounting, and its large market opportunity. Combined, I believe Xero is well-placed to continue growing its recurring revenues at a solid rate for many years to come.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro does not own shares in Xero Limited.

Sebastian Bowen: Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL)

My pick for March is Coles – which needs no introduction.

In the week of volatility we’ve had, Coles has fallen from over $17 to under $15 a share. I think the Coles share price is in the buy zone at this level.

Its defensive earnings base, ‘Smarter Selling’ cost-cutting plans and policy of paying out 80%-90% of its earnings as fully franked dividends makes it an attractive buy-and-hold investment in my view.

I’ll be seriously considering adding Coles to my dividend portfolio in March if the shares dip any further.

Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen does not own shares in Coles Group Ltd.

Daryl Mather: St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM)

This week’s ASX fall has deflated an oversold market and plunged us into a potentially extended period of uncertainty. 

March is filled with the release of economic indicators. Many will reinforce the economy’s trajectory toward negative GDP growth. I believe haven assets like gold are the safe play in the interim and most likely to retain or increase in value.

Of the gold company shares, I believe St Barbara Limited will benefit most. The smart money knows the St Barbara share price is now way undersold. The company is well managed with solid earnings, has a moderate dividend yield and heading into sustained high gold prices.

Motley Fool contributor Daryl Mather does not own shares in St Barbara Ltd.

Cathryn Goh: Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co. Ltd (ASX: SOL)

It’s far from the most exciting pick but I think this ASX investment conglomerate could be a great buy-to-hold investment given the current uncertainty.

Since listing on the ASX in 1903, Soul Patts has withstood the test of time, surviving (and thriving) through all types of economic conditions. It has a diverse portfolio which has benefitted from the recent TPG Telecom Ltd (ASX: TPM) win and a strong track record of value creation over multiple decades.

What’s more, Soul Patts currently offers a trailing dividend yield of 2.97% (which grosses up to 4.24%) and has been raising its dividend since 2000.

Motley Fool contributor Cathryn Goh owns shares of Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co. Ltd.

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As of 13/2/20

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