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3 ASX shares to buy as the S&P/ASX 200 closes in on record high

Brendon Lau
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Investors are abuzz with anticipation that S&P/ASX 200 (Index:^AXJO) (ASX:XJO) index will close above its previous record high in 2007 by today.

The more inclusive All Ordinaries (Index:^AORD) (ASX:XAO) of 500 ASX stocks already hit that milestone last week, and unless there’s a breaking black swan event happening outside of Australia, the top 200 shares on our market will be following suit.

If you have been underweight equities, don’t feel you have missed the boat even though the market has rallied by around 20% since the start of calendar 2019.

I won’t argue that there’s little in the way of valuation support given how far shares have come and the lacklustre earnings outlook, but there are still pockets of value that can be found amid the market surge.

Readying for take-off

One stock I believe will outperform even if the market stops rising on valuation concerns is the Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) share price.

The stock has been volatile but I think it’s come back down to levels that make it look attractive – particularly ahead of next month’s reporting season.

Management has a track record to over-delivering (just look at the February results) and there’s every chance it will do so again even as brokers have lowered their earnings expectations for the online travel group.

But Webjet is still expected to post double-digit earnings growth into FY20 and the stock is looking good value as it’s trading on a one-year forward price-earnings multiple of around 16 times.

Good earnings bet

Another candidate with a robust earnings outlook and undemanding valuation is the Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX: ALL) share price.

Recent updates confirmed my belief that worries over its digital operations are overblown and that its capable of delivering double-digit growth in FY20.

This expectation, coupled with the view that Aristocrat’s earnings are relatively defensive, make this stock a worthy bet over the coming months.

Building to a boom

If there is one sector that you can be reasonably confident of even if the global economy slows is infrastructure.

The boom times in that industry is tipped to continue for a few years at least given the amount of money that state and federal governments are tipping into building new rail and road projects.

This should translate to good times for infrastructure engineering stocks like the Downer EDI Limited (ASX: DOW) share price.

The stock has been underperforming the ASX 200, so no one can accuse it trading on an overstretched valuation.

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Motley Fool contributor Brendon Lau owns shares of Aristocrat Leisure Ltd, Webjet Ltd. and Downer EDI Ltd. Connect with him on Twitter @brenlau.

The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Webjet Ltd. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

The Motley Fool's purpose is to help the world invest, better. Click here now for your free subscription to Take Stock, The Motley Fool's free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson. 2019