Although it doesn’t make the front page of newspapers any more, the COVID-19 pandemic unfortunately refuses to go away.
In fact, hospitalisations and deaths were disturbingly up the past few weeks as Australians battled through winter.
So despite more than two years having passed since the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) hit its coronavirus panic trough, many post-COVID recovery stocks have yet to reach their full potential.
This is great news for investors, as it’s not too late to buy into some of these ASX shares.
In fact, some of them have discounted nicely in 2022 as the general market malaise dragged them down.
Here are three to buy, as nominated by Wilson Asset Management analysts:
Travel’s back. And busier than before the pandemic
The sector most obviously hit by the pandemic has been the travel industry.
While online travel agent Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) has seen its share price double since the dark days of 2020, senior analyst Shaun Weick feels like there’s plenty more upside.
“Webjet’s a buy for us,” he said in a Wilson video.
“If you look at consensus analyst estimates on this name, you’re essentially implying a recovery to pre-COVID in the second half of 2023. We think that’s too conservative.”
Webjet has its financial year end each March, so had already reported on its results back in May, when it revealed it had returned to profitability.
“We think the market’s underappreciating the technology investments that they’ve made and the upside that provides.”
3 reasons why CSL will go gangbusters
While CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) had made a lot of money for investors for decades, the pandemic period has been lean.
Its blood plasma collection business in North America took a massive hit due to lockdowns and people generally wary of physically visiting donor centres.
Its share price, therefore, has still yet to approach its pre-COVID high.
But Wilson analyst Anna Milne reckons that’s all about to turn around.
“Firstly, there’s the Behring business, which is plasma-derived products — that’s been under-earning for a number of years now, and we think it’s really just starting to hit its straps,” she said.
“Sequiris is the vaccine business… it’s been a pretty horrendous flu season Down Under and we think that’ll probably translate to the same in the northern hemisphere.”
Then there’s the new $16.4 billion Vifor Pharma business, which CSL put in a takeover offer for late last year.
“The Vifor transaction, which has been delayed, but management is still very confident that it’s going to close and we’re really excited about the pipeline of drugs there,” said Milne.
“So CSL’s a buy.”
CSL will reveal its preliminary results on 17 August.
Strong assets and a lucrative market reopening?
Winemakers are not obvious COVID victims, but Treasury Wine Estates Ltd (ASX: TWE) would argue very much that it was.
Back in 2020, the Australian government demanded an international enquiry into the origins of COVID-19. Beijing took exception to this and placed punitive tariffs on certain Australian imports.
And China was one of the largest markets for Treasury Wine at the time.
The stock price plunged, and the company attempted to diversify its markets to restore its revenues.
Milne feels like the company can put its woes behind it now.
“Firstly, it’s got a really strong asset backing. It’s got the wine itself, then it’s got the vineyards — so that provides a bit of a backstop to the share price in these kinds of volatile environments,” she said.
“Additionally, I don’t want to speak too soon, but with a new Australian government, it does like China-Australia relations might be having a bit of a cautious reset.”
Treasury Wine will report its annual results on 18 August.
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