Five of the top ASX stocks for April
ASX-listed stocks have received a boost from the Reserve Bank of Australia's decision to hold off on rate hikes in April, as well as Australia's post-Covid economic recovery.
April could be an opportune period to purchase stocks listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) after the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) put a pause on its long-standing run of rate hikes.
On 4 April, the RBA announced it would refrain from lifting its cash rate this month, bringing an end to the 11-month run of rate hikes that first kicked off in May 2022.
The move has helped to boost consumer sentiment in the Australian economy. The Westpac Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index surged by 9.4% in April from 78.4 in March to 85.8 in April.
'Confidence is now at its highest level since June 2022, although still 10.4% below April 2022, the month before the RBA board began raising the cash rate,' said Bill Evans, Westpac chief economist.
Australians are also far more confident about the potential for a recovery in housing prices after the property market sunk into the doldrums on the back of the RBA's hawkish monetary policy last year.
'The national index of House Price Expectations lifted by 16.7% to 130.31, only 2.8% below its level in April last year, just before the tightening cycle began,' Evans said.
'The index has increased by a remarkable 43% since its recent low in November last year.'
Rising confidence across the Australian economy bodes well for certain ASX-listed stocks – especially those related to the finance, retail and property sectors.
ASX-listed stocks could also receive a boost from the Australian economy's recovery from the impacts of the Covid pandemic. This is particularly the case given the Australian economy's strong reliance upon inbound migration, which is now fast recovering as Covid-related travel restrictions are lifted.
Here is a list of five of the top ASX-listed stocks that investors should consider in the month of April.
1. Woolworths Group (ASX: WOW)
Retail giant Woolsworths operates more than 1,400 stores across both Australian and New Zealand. In addition to its own-branded supermarket chain, Woolworths also owns the Big W chain of stores in Australia, and several supermarket chains in New Zealand.
The company's' half-year results came in ahead of expectations, with a 4% year-on-year increase in sales to $33.17 billion. Woolworth's net profit after tax (NPAT) posted a 14% rise to hit $907 million, while its fully-franked interim dividend of 46 cents per share, for an increase of 17.9% compared to the previous interim dividend.
Woolsworths' share price has risen over 19% since the start of the year, after posting an increase of over 3% over the past year.
2. Treasury Wine Estates (ASX: TWE)
Treasury Wine Estates is one of the world's largest wine companies, with a brand presence across more than 70 countries around the globe.
The company bills itself as a leader when it comes to 'world-class winemaking and brand marketing,' with a strong focus on satisfying the changing tastes of global consumers.
Treasury Wine has 11,3000 hectares of vineyards and winemaking facilities, with key brands including Penfolds, Beringer, Sterling Vinyard, Stags' Leap, Beringer Bros, Squealing Pig and Seppelt.
The winemaker has seen its share price rise nearly 7% since the start of 2023.
3. Lovisa Holdings Ltd (ASX:LOV)
Founded in 2010, Lovisa has since rapidly grown into one of Australia's biggest specialist retailers of fast fashion jewellery, with 700 stores across more than 30 countries.
The company operates a vertically integrated business model, responsible for the development, design, sourcing and merchandising of its self-branded products.
Analysts point out that Lovisa's products cater to a neglected market segment of fast fashion jewellery at prices that are more affordable for everyday consumers.
Lovisa's share price could see a strong performance in 2023 on the back of plans for accelerated international expansion from an ambitious new leadership team.
The company is accelerating the growth of its operations in the US and has recently expanded into new markets including Canada, Mexico, Poland and Hong Kong, with plans to enter Italy this year.
Lovisa's share price has risen by over 10% since the start of 2023.
4. Wesfarmers (ASX: WES)
First founded over a century ago in 1914 as a farmers' cooperative in Western Australia, Wesfarmers has since evolved into one of the biggest listed companies in Australia with diversified operations covering a broad range of sectors.
Wesfarmers has an especially strong portfolio of key retail operations, with major brands including Kmart, Target, Bunnings, Officeworks, Priceline and Beaumont Tiles.
Wesfarmers' share price has risen over 14% year-to-date, as well as nearly 8% over the past year.
Based on forecasts from Commsec, Wesfarmers could generate earnings per share (EPS) of $2.14 in FY23 and $2.25 in FY24. Should the retail operator hit these targets, Wesfarmers' shares would be 24-times FY23's estimated earnings and 23-times FY24's estimated earnings.
5. Airtasker (ASX: ART)
Airtasker is Australia's market leader for online marketplace local services, with a huge $600 billion total addressable market across Australia, the US, and UK.
The company bills itself as a 'trusted community platform' for the local outsourcing of tasks and services such as home cleaning, handyman work, web development and graphic design.
Airtask has considerable room for growth, with gross marketplace volume of just $189.6 million in FY22, up 23.8% on FY21.
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