After a tumultuous 2011, this year that sentiment is even more pronounced as market participants put the last 12-months in their rear-view and look to better times ahead.
At Australian Stock Report we don’t particularly care for long dated predictions about the market as a whole – too much can change too quickly.
We are prepared however, to outline a few stocks that will make for interesting reading in 2012.
Below is a list of stocks to watch in 2012 and a brief outline as to why we think so.
QR National (ASX:QRN) / Asciano (ASX:AIO) – Both companies operate in the transportation industry and are highly leveraged to the mining sector. While they are in competition with each other, both can prosper with the mining boom likely to drive industry revenue. QRN and AIO are likely to experience strong growth from the Queensland area as the state’s coal output moves back into full swing after last year’s floods caused havoc with production.
ANZ (ASX:ANZ) – Our bank of choice is ANZ. While we can’t see an extreme decoupling in price between the big four over the next year, ANZ is our preferred exposure to this sector. ANZ has the second lowest P/E based on current earnings and has a dividend yield approaching 7%, which should provide some support for the stock at this level. The company also has the most exposure to the growing Asian region and one of the lowest exposures to the slowing domestic residential market.
BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) / Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) – These mining giants are poised for growth in 2012. Both companies were weighed down last year as the market factored in the effects of a possible hard landing in China. It is becoming more evident however, that any slowdown in the Chinese economy will be akin to a soft landing instead. The other factor that could buoy the mining giants is increased commodity prices due to the likely introduction of further monetary stimulus by the US Federal Reserve.
WorleyParsons (ASX:WOR) – Worley’s provides professional engineering and management services to the energy, resources and complex process industries. The company has significant leverage to the energy sector, specifically through its hydrocarbons (compounds founds in crude oil) division. The company will benefit from any oil supply/demand imbalance that drives up prices. Indeed, some analysts are predicting the price of oil will increase dramatically due to the political unrest in the Middle East. Higher oil prices will encourage the big oil companies to ramp up capital expenditure to the benefit of WOR. The company also has demonstrated an ability to land contracts with the major oil players, evidenced by its recent contract win for the Chevron project in Indonesia.
Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX:SAR) – On the smaller side of the market, Saracen is a mid-tier WA gold producer that was added to the S&P/ASX 200 on the 28th of December, 2011. This company has forecast gold production of between 120,000 -130,000 ounces of gold a year, which was reaffirmed in a recent update. Saracen is also trying to expand its business with $35 million of capital expenditure planned for the current financial year. The capital expenditure is substantial for a company of SAR’s size, but a strong net cash position of $58 million significantly reduces the funding risk.