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The best ASX shares to buy now in 2023? (December update)

We found the 20 best ASX stocks worth adding to your watch list for the year ahead.

Important note

Unfortunately there's no one magic stock or ETF that's 'best' for everyone. Instead, you should look at your own individual needs and investment strategy to decide what stock is right for you. Further, nobody can say for certain which direction a share will go as past performance is no guarantee of future results. So keep in mind these are stock ideas only and should not be taken as personal financial advice.

Looking for the best ASX shares to buy for 2023? We've compiled a list of stocks using an algorithm that considers factors such as price performance, volatility levels and profit margins to find 20 stocks that might be worth watching over the year ahead.

Stock themes for 2023

Unless you have a crystal ball, it's impossible to say what the next 12 months will look like. But there are some big themes that are currently driving the market in 2023:

  • Inflation and central banks lifting rates. This is leading to recession fears
  • The collapse of major banks including Silicon Valley Bank and Credit Suisse with fears of a contagion
  • 2023 could be the year that value investors outperform
  • Commodities continue to outperform

Stocks to watch in 2023

With all that in mind, it's not easy picking quality stocks. To help identify stock picks for 2023, we used Finder's proprietary algorithm to filter Australia-listed companies that have strong fundamentals. We take into account historical prices, dividends, revenue growth, (low) price volatility and profit margins, which might indicate a quality stock.

To avoid speculative stocks, we only include companies with a market cap of more than $1 billion. We filtered out stocks that have been listed on the ASX for less than 5 years to better compare historical data.

Again, this doesn't mean these are the best ASX stocks for you or your personal situation. Always do your own research and chat with a professional when in doubt.

The algorithm was last updated 1 December 2023.

How did we pick this list?

Our proprietary algorithm rates ASX-listed stocks based on price performance, profit, revenue and dividends. For more information about our methodology, head to our stock rating methodology page. The companies displayed on this page may not be the best for you and you're encouraged to do your own research. Investments can go up and down and we do not guarantee the performance or returns of any investment.

Helia Group Limited (HLI.AU)

Helia Group Limited, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the loan mortgage insurance business in Australia. The company facilitates residential mortgage lending by transferring risk from lenders to lenders mortgage insurance (LMI) providers, primarily for high loan to value ratio residential mortgage loans; and portfolio of seasoned home loans.
  • Market cap: A$1.206 billion
  • YTD performance: 80.42%
  • 1-year performance: 67.83%
  • 5-year performance: 225.57%
  • P/E ratio: 4.54
  • Headquarters: Australia

Boss Resources Ltd (BOE.AU)

Boss Energy Limited explores for, develops, and produces uranium deposits in Australia. It holds a 100% interest in the Honeymoon uranium project covering an area of approximately 2,595 square kilometers located in South Australia.
  • Market cap: A$1.525 billion
  • YTD performance: 4291.76%
  • 1-year performance: 111.95%
  • 5-year performance: 12429.42%
  • P/E ratio: 121.35
  • Headquarters: Australia

Neuren Pharmaceuticals Ltd (NEU.AU)

Neuren Pharmaceuticals Limited, a biopharmaceutical company, develops drugs for the treatment of neurological disorders. Its lead product is trofinetide, which is in Phase III clinical trial for the treatment of Rett syndrome, as well as has completed Phase II clinical trial to treat Fragile X syndrome.
  • Market cap: A$1.922 billion
  • YTD performance: 1150.59%
  • 1-year performance: 135.64%
  • 5-year performance: 1523.24%
  • P/E ratio: 34.21
  • Headquarters: Australia

Carsales.Com Ltd (CAR.AU)

CAR Group Limited operates online automotive, motorcycle, and marine classifieds business in Australia, Brazil, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Chile, China, the United States, and Mexico. The company operates through Online Advertising Services; Data, Research and Services; Carsales Investments; North America; Latin America; and Asia segments.
  • Market cap: A$10.421 billion
  • YTD performance: 40.01%
  • 1-year performance: 37.9%
  • 5-year performance: 171.54%
  • P/E ratio: 15.25
  • Headquarters: Australia

Infratil (IFT.AU)

Infratil Limited owns and operates infrastructure businesses, and investments primarily in New Zealand, Australia, the United States, Asia, the United Kingdom, and Europe. The company generates and supplies electricity.
  • Market cap: A$7.629 billion
  • YTD performance: 37.69%
  • 1-year performance: 24.03%
  • 5-year performance: 188.76%
  • P/E ratio: 5.23
  • Headquarters: Australia

Pro Medicus Ltd (PME.AU)

Pro Medicus Limited engages in the development and supply of healthcare imaging software and services to hospitals, diagnostic imaging groups, and other related health entities in Australia, North America, and Europe. The company offers Visage radiology information systems (RIS), a proprietary medical software for practice management, training, installation, professional services, and after-sale support and service products; and, an e-health platform.
  • Market cap: A$9.254 billion
  • YTD performance: 151.69%
  • 1-year performance: 62.47%
  • 5-year performance: 762.65%
  • P/E ratio: 151.6
  • Headquarters: Australia

Red 5 Ltd (RED.AU)

Red 5 Limited engages in the exploration, production, and mining of gold deposits and mineral properties in the Philippines and Australia. The company holds interests in the Siana Gold project located in the Island of Mindanao, the Philippines; the King of the Hills Gold project located in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia; and the Darlot Gold mine situated in the north-east of Perth in Western Australia.
  • Market cap: A$1.126 billion
  • YTD performance: 42.31%
  • 1-year performance: 184.62%
  • 5-year performance: 380.52%
  • Headquarters: Australia

L1 Long Short Fund (LSF.AU)

L1 Long Short Fund Limited is a equity fund launched and managed by L1 Capital Pty Ltd. The fund investments predominantly in Australian and New Zealand securities.
  • Market cap: A$1.778 billion
  • YTD performance: 22.39%
  • 1-year performance: 9.66%
  • 5-year performance: 305.72%
  • P/E ratio: 10.79
  • Headquarters: Australia

Audinate Group Ltd (AD8.AU)

Audinate Group Limited develops and sells digital audio visual (AV) networking solutions in Australia and internationally. It provides Dante, a technology platform that distributes digital audio and video signals over computer networks to original equipment manufacturers.
  • Market cap: A$1.247 billion
  • YTD performance: 81.54%
  • 1-year performance: 103.48%
  • 5-year performance: 463.47%
  • P/E ratio: 109.09
  • Headquarters: Australia

Azure Minerals Limited (AZS.AU)

Azure Minerals Limited engages in the exploration of precious and base minerals in Australia. The company primarily explores for nickel, cobalt, gold, and copper deposits.
  • Market cap: A$1.831 billion
  • YTD performance: 592.31%
  • 1-year performance: 1614.29%
  • 5-year performance: 7100%
  • Headquarters: Australia

Bellevue Gold Ltd (BGL.AU)

Bellevue Gold Limited, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the exploration and evaluation of gold properties in Australia. It holds a 100% interest in the Bellevue gold project covering an area of approximately 2,700 km2 located to north-west of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.
  • Market cap: A$1.85 billion
  • YTD performance: 55.36%
  • 1-year performance: 76.65%
  • 5-year performance: 470.5%
  • Headquarters: Australia

Megaport (MP1.AU)

Megaport Limited provides elastic interconnection services to the enterprises and service providers in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, North America, and Europe. It operates a platform that enables customers to connect their network to other services, as well as creates agile network that connects in multiple regions.
  • Market cap: A$1.642 billion
  • YTD performance: -29.95%
  • 1-year performance: 160.06%
  • 5-year performance: 180.57%
  • Headquarters: Australia

Pilbara Minerals Limited (PLS.AU)

Pilbara Minerals Limited engages in the exploration, development, and operation of mineral resources in Australia. The company primarily explores for lithium.
  • Market cap: A$10.955 billion
  • YTD performance: 296.56%
  • 1-year performance: -0.57%
  • 5-year performance: 2279.32%
  • P/E ratio: 4.56
  • Headquarters: Australia

Telix Pharmaceuticals (TLX.AU)

Telix Pharmaceuticals Limited, a radiopharmaceutical company, develops molecularly targeted radiation (MTR) products for cancer and rare diseases in Australia, Belgium, Japan, Switzerland, and the United States. The company focuses on developing diagnostic and therapeutic products using MTR.
  • Market cap: A$2.969 billion
  • YTD performance: 155.24%
  • 1-year performance: 60.9%
  • 5-year performance: 1581.04%
  • Headquarters: Australia

AUB Group Limited (AUB.AU)

AUB Group Limited engages in the insurance broking and underwriting businesses in Australia and New Zealand. The company provides insurance broking and advisory services primarily to SME clients; distributes ancillary products; and designs, distributes, and manages insurance products on behalf of licensed insurance companies.
  • Market cap: A$3.025 billion
  • YTD performance: 77.27%
  • 1-year performance: 29.87%
  • 5-year performance: 210.61%
  • P/E ratio: 42.69
  • Headquarters: Australia

Codan Ltd (CDA.AU)

Codan Limited develops technology solutions for United Nations organizations, mining companies, security and military groups, government departments, individuals, and small-scale miners. It operates through Communications and Metal Detection segments.
  • Market cap: A$1.52 billion
  • YTD performance: -24.64%
  • 1-year performance: 127.5%
  • 5-year performance: 199.3%
  • P/E ratio: 22.35
  • Headquarters: Australia

Collins Food Limited (CKF.AU)

Collins Foods Limited engages in the operation, management, and administration of restaurants in Australia, Europe, and Asia. It operates restaurants under the KFC, Taco Bell, and Sizzler brands.
  • Market cap: A$1.175 billion
  • YTD performance: 15.34%
  • 1-year performance: 59.01%
  • 5-year performance: 163.75%
  • P/E ratio: 92
  • Headquarters: Australia

Goodman Group (GMG.AU)

Goodman Group is an integrated property group with operations throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe, the United Kingdom and the Americas. Goodman Group, comprised of the stapled entities Goodman Limited, Goodman Industrial Trust and Goodman Logistics (HK) Limited, is the largest industrial property group listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and one of the largest listed specialist investment managers of industrial property and business space globally.
  • Market cap: A$43.53 billion
  • YTD performance: 23.35%
  • 1-year performance: 35.02%
  • 5-year performance: 125.73%
  • P/E ratio: 27.8
  • Headquarters: Australia

Ramelius Resources Ltd (RMS.AU)

Ramelius Resources Limited, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the exploration, mine development and operation, production, and sale of gold in Australia. It operates through three segments: Mt Magnet, Edna May, and Exploration.
  • Market cap: A$1.784 billion
  • YTD performance: -1.46%
  • 1-year performance: 100%
  • 5-year performance: 309.76%
  • P/E ratio: 22.59
  • Headquarters: Australia

Emerald Resources NL (EMR.AU)

Emerald Resources NL engages in the exploration and development of mineral reserves in Cambodia and Australia. The company's exploration tenements include a combination of 100% owned granted licenses, applications, and earn-in and joint venture agreements covering a combined area of 1,239 square kilometers.
  • Market cap: A$1.538 billion
  • YTD performance: 221.15%
  • 1-year performance: 147.58%
  • 5-year performance: 9935.72%
  • P/E ratio: 22.13
  • Headquarters: Australia

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How to pick stocks

There's no single winning strategy to filter "good stocks" because the most important consideration is your own circumstances. Besides, the best ASX stocks are those that perform well in the future. And if the last few years has taught us anything, markets can defy expectations.

But that doesn't mean you shouldn't do your homework. Whether you care more about short-term capital gains or long-term dividend growth, it's important to know whether a stock is performing well, making a profit, paying dividends or going backwards.

What are some stocks to watch for 2023?

Michael Gable

Michael Gable
Managing Director, Fairmont Equities

I will be focusing on resource stocks in 2023 due to demand for commodities, supply constraints, and a falling US dollar. Gold should also do well, but investors need to remember that it is not a hedge or a long-term investment. You only hold it when the US dollar is falling. That should happen during 2023 but don't fall in love with it, you need to trade it and remain nimble.

What's been happening in the market?

The last couple of years have been among the most volatile in history for stocks. It's a market dominated by inflation, interest rate rises and commodity prices going through the roof due to the war in Ukraine.

In fact, it's been a market where investors are actually looking for bad economic news. A slow-down in GDP, for example or an uplift in unemployment, are all signs that inflation could have peaked.

In the first 3 months of 2023, very little has changed. Inflation continues to be a problem central banks face, (although signs are it's peaking), rates continue to rise, unemployment remains resilient and the war in Ukraine is continue.

Generally speaking, during times of uncertainty, commodities, property and industrials are seen as safe havens for investors. It is not surprising that these sectors have been dominating the market over the last 3 months.

But how you should react to these market conditions varies greatly depending on your strategy. If you are a long-term investor with decades of time left before you want to sell your shares, this market backdrop might mean very little to you.

In fact, you might use it as a time to buy cheap stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), that could be cheap and could improve their prospects during this volatile period.

But for others, including older Aussies who need the money right now, more active traders and those who have cash on the sideline, they might be watching the market backdrop more closely than those who are buying and holding.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, options or any specific provider, service or offering. It should not be relied upon as advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks, ETFs and options trading involve substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances and obtain your own advice before making any trades.

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