3 Recovery Stock Picks

VIDEO: Morningstar's Alex Morozov looks at some of the equity research team's top stock picks, with three companies set to recover post-Covid

Holly Black 22 February, 2021 | 11:56AM
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Holly Black: Welcome to Morningstar. I'm Holly Black. With me Alex Morozov. He is Director of European Equity Research at Morningstar. Hello.

Alex Morozov: Hi, Holly. Great to be here.

Black: So, Alex, there's plenty going on, on the stock market for investors to get their teeth into at the moment. What are some of the things on your mind?

Morozov: Well, Holly, probably the most interesting thing is how difficult it is now to find great investment ideas in the world where the market performance would suggest that the coronavirus effects are going to be near term and the market performance so far left very few attractive investment opportunities in the area we put up, would look for them, particularly when the company is with wide economic moat. The main exception here being the energy and financial sectors, but those are also the sectors where economic moats are tougher to build. There's not that many higher quality names in those spaces. So, while we like in general the valuations there, I think that overall, when you're looking for a combination of quality and price, we have to look a little harder.

Black: And those sectors do have headwinds, low interest rates, low energy prices. It seems like it would be a brave investor who took a punt right now in that space.

Morozov: Yeah, that is indeed correct. I think that when you look at the uncertainty rating, which is one of our staples of our methodology, a lot of the companies in the energy space in particular have higher uncertainty ratings, which was our lack of confidence around us.

Black: Now, the cash flow generation of those businesses in part driven by the underlying price of a commodity. So, Alex, your team keeps a list that they monitor of top stock picks. You're going to talk us through a few of those today. Where should we start?

Morozov: Let's start with Airbus, a wide moat company trading at about 25% discount to intrinsic fair value estimate. This is the company that's definitely affected by the near-term compression in the air travel. So, when you think of the air travel, you think of the airlines, but they also think of the airspace manufacturers. And while airlines are devastated by this near-term travel, a company like Airbus where the order book is much longer in duration is much better positioned. So, if you think that eventually the air travel might recover to the levels that were pre-pandemic, Airbus represents a very interesting name.

Black: Okay. And what's stock number two?

Morozov: Stock number two requires very little introduction. It's the alcoholic beverage juggernaut Anheuser-Busch InBev. This is the company that has a wide moat, wide economic moat in our methodology as well. It also trades at a very attractive discount. 20% plus and this is a company that is very well-positioned in rapidly growing demographics. So, think of developing markets like Latin America, think of developing markets like Africa, Anheuser-Busch is a household name there. It has a very strong presence in those markets. And eventually, once we see some of the rebound perhaps in the developed market, occur in the consumption for alcoholic beverages, the long-term transformed from the emerging markets will definitely propel this stock.

Black: Okay. And what is our final stock today?

Morozov: The final stock is from a healthcare sector, which has been probably the best-performing sector outside of technology, but nonetheless we still have a few interesting ideas in this space. And the one that I would like to highlight today is Roche. This is a Swiss company, that's a leader in the oncology business, but it also has a very strong franchise in the diagnostics. So, when we think of the future of medicine, which is the companion diagnostics, a medicine that's tailored to each individual, Roche is in a really great position because it does have one of the industry's largest diagnostic franchises. And when you look at the overall portfolio of the drugs that it has, and you look at how the market is valuing it, we'll definitely see a disconnect.

Black: Alex, thank you so much for your time. For Morningstar, I'm Holly Black.

The information contained within is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not intended nor should it be considered an invitation or inducement to buy or sell a security or securities noted within nor should it be viewed as a communication intended to persuade or incite you to buy or sell security or securities noted within. Any commentary provided is the opinion of the author and should not be considered a personalised recommendation. The information contained within should not be a person's sole basis for making an investment decision. Please contact your financial professional before making an investment decision.

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Holly Black  is Senior Editor, Morningstar.co.uk


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