Morgans Best Ideas: October 2021
About the author:
- Author name:
- By Andrew Tang
- Job title:
- Analyst - Equity Strategy
- Date posted:
- 05 October 2021, 9:30 AM
- Sectors Covered:
- Equity Strategy and Quant
Our best ideas are those that we think offer the highest risk-adjusted returns over a 12-month timeframe supported by a higher-than-average level of confidence. They are our most preferred sector exposures.
New additions this month include Woodside (ASX:WPL) and Endeavour Group (ASX:EDV).
Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) - Watch Now
Endeavour Group (ASX:EDV) - Watch Now
Removals this month include Coles (ASX:COL), Magellan Financial (ASX:MFG) and AusNet Services (ASX:AST).
Best Ideas — Large caps
While COVID restrictions have impacted the earnings recovery for Wagering & Gaming Co, we continue to view the risk/return profile of TAH as asymmetrically skewed to the upside over the next ~12 months as the demerger of the high quality, infrastructure-like Lotteries & Keno business progresses. At current levels, we think L&K is trading on ~15x EBITDA and think this multiple can re-rate to between 16-20x on a standalone basis over time, supported by offshore peer comps and domestic infrastructure names.
Endeavour Group (ASX:EDV)
While EDV’s Retail division has benefited greatly from lockdowns and higher at-home consumption, its Hotels business has been negatively impacted by closures and restrictions. The planned reopening of venues over the next few months (particularly in NSW and VIC) should be positive for EDV overall, despite likely weakness in Retail as at-home consumption normalises, given Hotels is a higher margin business.
Treasury Wine Estates (ASX:TWE)
TWE has the China reallocation risk and it will take 2-3 years to recover these earnings in new markets. However, outside of China, its key markets, particularly the US, are recovering faster than expected from COVID. The new business units centred around the brands, are now fully in place and we are excited to see what they can earn with TWE effectively creating the benefits of a demerger without the extra costs. It also demonstrates that the SOTP is worth materially more than the whole. It shines a light on Penfolds and its best-in-class margins and may ultimately lead to corporate activity in some form in the future. We rate this management team highly.
We expect the resilience of STO's growth profile and diversified earnings base see it best placed to outperform against a backdrop of a continuing broader sector recovery. STO remains our top preference amongst our large-cap energy universe. With early indications supportive of our view that material synergies and enhanced growth plans will result from the OSH merger. While in good shape, we expect STO to continue gaining investor support as it executes on the opportunistic OSH merger.
We believe WPL has benefited from being in the right place, at the right time. With: 1) BHP/WPL having an existing relationship, 2) BHP eager to boost its ESG profile, and 3) WPL being a quality operator (safe hands which is important for BHP). From an economic standpoint we think WPL is clearly getting the better of the deal, with synergies not baked into deal metrics and BHP willing to accept a discount. The deal is transformative, lifting WPL into being a top 10 global E&P with +2 billion barrels of 2P reserves, with EBITDA of US$4.7bnpa and growth options.
Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG)
We still see MQG as relatively inexpensive and continue to like its exposure to long-term structural growth areas such as infrastructure and renewables. Near term MQG is likely to face earnings pressures from the impact of soft economic conditions but it remains well positioned to ride out the current COVID-19 period and seize opportunities on the other side.
QBE Insurance Group (ASX:QBE)
We see QBE as likely having positive underlying momentum into next year. QBE has been putting through top-line rate increases of around 9%, which should assist margin expansion into FY22. With QBE's balance sheet recently reset, pricing tailwinds evident and the stock relatively inexpensive trading on ~12.9x FY22F PE.
We believe ANZ is the most compelling of the major banks on a valuation basis. We expect ANZ to continue to focus on absolute cost reduction over the medium term. ANZ has de-risked its loan book over recent years – particularly its institutional loan book – such that the quality of its loan book has improved. While ANZ’s Australian home loan book has been growing below system over recent months, we expect a disciplined margin performance from ANZ.
ResMed Inc (ASX:RMD)
While we believe the next few quarters will likely be volatile, as COVID-related demand for ventilators continues to slow and core sleep apnoea volumes gradually lift, nothing changes our medium/longer term view that the company remains well-placed as it builds a unique, patient-centric, connected-care digital platform that addresses the main pinch points across the healthcare value chain.
Sonic Healthcare (ASX:SHL)
We see COVID-19 testing continuing into the foreseeable future, with growth potential in COVID serology testing. SHL’s global base business is increasingly resilient, benefitting from geographical diversity. Strong B/S (gearing 21.6x; A$1.3bn headroom) opening the door to acquisitions, contracts and JVs.
Transurban (ASX:TCL) - New Addition
TCL owns a pure play portfolio of toll road concession assets located in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and North America. This provides exposure to regional population and employment growth and urbanisation. Given very high EBITDA margins, earnings are driven by traffic growth (with recovery from COVID) and toll escalation (roughly half at CPI and the remainder fixed c.4% pa). We think TCL will continue to be attractive to investors given its market cap weighting (important for passive index tracking flows), the high quality of its assets, management team, balance sheet, and growth prospects. Watch for rapid recovery in DPS alongside traffic recovery and WestConnex acquisition prospects. A negative overhang is the contaminated soil disposal issues related to its West Gate Tunnel Project.
BHP Group (ASX:BHP)
We view BHP as relatively low risk given its superior diversification relative to its major global mining peers. The spread of BHP’s operations also supplies some defence against direct COVID-19 impact on earnings contributors. While there are more leveraged plays sensitive to a global recovery scenario, we see BHP as holding an attractive combination of upside sensitivity, balance sheet strength and resilient dividend profile.
For our full list of Best Ideas, including our mid-cap and small-cap key stock picks, download our full research note (Morgans clients only):
Best Ideas October 2021
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Disclaimer: The information contained in this report is provided to you by Morgans Financial Limited as general advice only, and is made without consideration of an individual's relevant personal circumstances. Morgans Financial Limited ABN 49 010 669 726, its related bodies corporate, directors and officers, employees, authorised representatives and agents (“Morgans”) do not accept any liability for any loss or damage arising from or in connection with any action taken or not taken on the basis of information contained in this report, or for any errors or omissions contained within. It is recommended that any persons who wish to act upon this report consult with their Morgans investment adviser before doing so.
Disclosure of interest: Morgans may from time to time hold an interest in any security referred to in this report and may, as principal or agent, sell such interests. Morgans may previously have acted as manager or co-manager of a public offering of any such securities. Morgans affiliates may provide or have provided banking services or corporate finance to the companies referred to in the report. The knowledge of affiliates concerning such services may not be reflected in this report. Morgans advises that it may earn brokerage, commissions, fees or other benefits and advantages, direct or indirect, in connection with the making of a recommendation or a dealing by a client in these securities. Some or all of Morgans Authorised Representatives may be remunerated wholly or partly by way of commission.