Twenty of Australia’s leading stockpickers have revealed their best stock ideas ahead of the philanthropic Future Generation Virtual Investment Forum, including healthcare and medical technology favourites. Regal Funds Management’s Craig Collie is recognised as one of Australia’s best healthcare stockpickers, after five years at Macquarie as its lead healthcare analyst. Dr Collie nominated ASX-listed Opthea as a high-conviction position, with a forecast 250 per cent upside.

Opthea is a biotechnology company developing treatments for serious eye conditions. According to Dr Collie, Opthea’s potential upside comes from positive clinical trial results over a blindness preventative treatment, a cheap valuation relative to the chances of a successful trial, and potential takeover interest.

Watermark’s Daniel Broeren tips digital health company MedAdvisor as a buy, as its software solutions assist patient medication management. MedAdvisor’s smartphone tech has been validated by several major offshore deals with COVID-19 accelerating the focus on digital adherence tools, the fund manager said.

And Jun Bei Liu of Tribeca Investment Partners nominates private hospital operator Ramsay Health Care as her top pick.

“At the current share price, we see an excellent opportunity to buy a quality business which will benefit from a true ‘V’ shaped recovery in demand, irrespective of pressures on the wider economy,” said the hedge fund manager. “The patients who have had their surgeries postponed are not going away.”

In the internet services space, Centennial Asset Management’s Matthew Kidman said iCar Asia has potential to easily double in price to 50¢ in the next 18 months. iCar Asia has boosted revenue some 30 per cent per annum, with its annualised revenue run rate of $20 million boasting potential to balloon tenfold given the large south-east Asian markets in which it operates, Mr Kidman says.

Blake Henricks of Firetrail Investments said investors should own gold given the global economic backdrop.

Newcrest, the country’s biggest gold miner, is the stock to own given its Red Chris, Haverion and Wafi Golpu gold mines are three “high-returning, growth opportunities”, Mr Henricks said.

Overseas picks

Among the international investors, China’s fast-growing digital and payments giants feature prominently as they aim to expand overseas.

Hong Kong-listed Tencent will benefit from more consumption of entertainment online, more remote working, and the growth of e-commerce, said Nick Griffin, Munro Partners’ chief investment investment officer.

“We consider the stock compelling,” said Mr Griffin. “We see considerable scope for the business to continue to grow at very high levels and the potential for the share price doubling over the next five years.”

Claire Britton of Magellan named Tencent’s rival, Alibaba, as her top pick.

“Alibaba is well-placed to record impressive earnings growth in coming years. The company is positioned to benefit from growing consumer spending and rising online penetration while network effects, user data insights, economies of scale and an ability to outspend competitors are sealing market supremacy across e-commerce segments,” the analyst said.

Sticking to China as a wealth creator, Morphic analyst Claudia Kwan named digital healthcare player Ping An as the stock to buy: “When you invest in China, you invest in what the country needs and if anything COVID-19 has shown that the world needs healthcare,” said Ms Kwan.

Morphic tips Ping An to turn profitable in financial year 2021, with 200 million monthly active users by 2025.

Qiao Ma of Cooper Investors identified dairy company China Mengiu as her best stock, as Chinese consumers buy more dairy products. Ms Ma is confident that Mengiu can grow free cashflow 15 per cent over the next three to five years.

Another favourite healthcare stock is drugs manufacturer Roche Holdings. Brandon Geisler of Marsico Capital said Roche is the market leader in the COVID-19 testing kits space and aims to produce 20 million tests per month in the near term.

Roche’s product development pipeline includes new drugs to treat common cancers (lung, breast and urothelial), leukemia, lymphoma, hemophilia and multiple sclerosis.

Mr Geisler said Roche is an innovative market leader, with a goal for new products to deliver 62 per cent of revenues by 2023.

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