How your #1 stock tips fared in Q1 2024

We check how Livewire readers’ 20 most-tipped stocks performed in the first three months of the year
Glenn Freeman

Livewire Markets

As the market continues to confound by staying at record highs, some of the top local sectors in the first quarter were Technology, Real Estate and Financials. Two of these featured among the stocks that you, our valued readers, named as your top tips for 2024 in our Outlook Series reader survey (with Real Estate the exception).

In the following table, we recap the full list of companies you selected and weigh their performance in the first quarter of 2024. Read on to find out which names across the Commodities, Healthcare (biotech and pharmaceuticals) and Consumer Discretionary sectors topped the table – and also some of those that lagged.

For the top five performers, we also delve into some of the most recent professional investor commentary featured on Livewire Markets. 

How your #1 stock picks fared in Q1

Name Code Share of all tips (%) Market cap (A$ BN) Q1 return (%)
Paladin Energy ASX: PDN 2.07 $ 4.55 39.8
Sigma Healthcare ASX: SIG 3 $ 2.12 29.0
Telix Pharmaceuticals ASX: TLX 2.07 $ 4.03 27.9
Wisetech Global ASX: WTC 2.6 $ 30.16 23.9
Wesfarmers ASX: WES 2.54 $ 76.52 20.0
Resmed Inc ASX: RMD 9.88 $ 43.23 18.6
Boss Energy ASX: BOE 2.6 $ 2.01 18.4
Macquarie Group ASX: MQG 4.07 $ 73.35 8.9
Pro Medicus ASX: PME 2.14 $ 11.53 8.7
Commonwealth Bank of Australia ASX: CBA 3.87 $ 197.58 7.6
Santos ASX: STO 1.87 $ 25.01 1.7
Mineral Resources ASX: MIN 6.07 $ 14.12 1.4
CSL Limited ASX: CSL 16.82 $ 135.35 0.7
Woodside Energy Group ASX: WDS 6.68 $ 57.11 -1.8
Pilbara Minerals ASX: PLS 11.77 $ 11.75 -2.0
Rio Tinto ASX: RIO 3.94 $ 47.14 -9.9
Fortescue ASX: FMG 6.74 $ 78.76 -11.1
BHP Group ASX: BHP 8.95 $ 231.03 -11.7
Neuren Pharmaceuticals ASX: NEU 2.27 $ 2.63 -14.9
Lynas Rare Earths ASX: LYC 1.87 $ 5.60 -20.2

#1 Paladin Energy (ASX: PDN)

  • Market cap: $4.58 billion
  • Q1 growth: 39.8%

The most valuable uranium pure-play on the ASX, Paladin shares surged on the back of a uranium price that has more than doubled in the last 12 months.

This demand is spurred by the growing realisation that developed nations need to embrace nuclear fuel if they’re to come anywhere near hitting their aggressive carbon emission reduction targets. That’s why we saw the US, Canada, UK, and Japan among 22 nations that committed to triple nuclear fuel production by 2050.

MPC Markets’ Mark Gardner recently described uranium as: “The 50-year stop-gap solution that fills the void for reliable base load electricity until storage technology for solar and wind improves.”

While noting that no Australian companies are yet producing uranium, Gardner last month said PDN was on track for June production from its Langer Heinrich uranium mine in Namibia.

#2 Sigma Healthcare (ASX: SIG)

  • Market cap: $2.12 billion
  • Q1 growth: 29%

The pharmaceutical wholesaler’s merger with competitor Chemist Warehouse at the end of 2023 created an $8.8 billion firm, the largest Australian company in the space.

Investors Mutual portfolio manager Marc Whittaker in January named Sigma as his pick of Australian stocks with game-changing catalysts for 2024.

“All of a sudden, it's a great way to potentially get some exposure to Chemist Warehouse - which is arguably the highest-quality, best-in-class retailer in the country,” Whittaker said.

“We like the economics and the strategic nature of its assets in that pharmaceutical wholesale business, delivering drugs to pharmacists front and back of shop,” he said, citing Chemist Warehouse’s double-digit top line growth and 15% EBIT margins.

“A very strong operational business, very strong branding. You'd love to have a piece of that business if you could.”

#3 Telix Pharmaceuticals (ASX: TLX)

  • Market cap: $4.03 billion
  • Q1 growth: 27.9%

Biotech company Telix produces “radiopharmaceuticals” – a class of drugs containing radioisotopes, which are used to help diagnose and treat cancer.

Wilsons’ Dr Shane Storey discussed Telix as one of two Australian companies designing new radioisotope drugs, with Telix using these for two of its kidney cancer products.

Charlie Williams of Life sciences-focused investor HB Biotechnology in January saw many reasons why biotech companies were just getting warmed up. He noted a pickup in M&A activity in the space, particularly among a couple of themes including Telix’s field of radiopharmaceuticals.

“Far from hiding under the covers as markets reacted to the highest inflation in decades, large pharmaceutical companies…stepped into the market and collectively acquired over US$150b of smaller (as well as some quite large) biotech companies. With prices still depressed in biotech, we expect M&A to continue into 2024,” Williams said.

#4 Wisetech Global (ASX: WTC)

  • Market cap: $30.25 billion
  • Q1 growth: 23.9%

The logistics software firm, Australia’s largest technology firm by market cap, is headed up by founder Richard White – who was interviewed as part of our 1H24 reporting season coverage.

It’s been lifted higher by the AI theme that saw a rally in many tech names globally, but there are other reasons it’s still flashing a “BUY” signal, Blackwattle’s Tim Riordan said in early April.

He said the company “ticks almost every box” in his search for high-quality companies, with “super high margins, really strong returns, and global growth.”

Beyond that, he also regarded the firm as one without a major competitor, which bodes well for WTC’s growth beyond its core sea and air freight businesses. “The opportunity for them to continue to grow we think is actually underappreciated,” Riordan told Livewire’s James Marlay in a recent Buy Hold Sell episode.

#5 Wesfarmers (ASX: WES)

  • Market cap: $76.95 billion
  • Q1 growth: 20%

Australia’s largest conglomerate, the name behind brands including hardware juggernaut Bunnings and budget-busting retailer Kmart, was one of many companies that beat expectations in its first-half earnings result in February.

This was one of several topics canvassed in Wesfarmer CEO Rob Scott’s interview with Livewire’s Carl Capolingua

Widely regarded as a consistent performer and a stalwart of the local market, “looking at the company’s latest results, it’s clear Wesfarmers has emerged from the pandemic in very strong shape,” wrote Capolingua in February.

The only dull spot in an otherwise stellar result was Wesfarmers’ Mt Holland lithium mine “which fell 46% in the half due to lower commodity prices,” said MPC Markets’ Kai Chen in coverage of the result.

What's your take?

If you own any of the above names and want to share your views on how they've performed in the year so far, we'd love to hear about it. Please let us know in the comments below

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Glenn Freeman
Content Editor
Livewire Markets

Glenn Freeman is a content editor at Livewire Markets. He has almost 20 years’ experience in financial services writing and editing. Glenn’s journalistic experience also spans energy and automotive, in both Australia and abroad – including the...

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