3 ASX 200 shares wielding a shield for returns: fundie

Concept image of man holding up a falling arrow with a shield.Concept image of man holding up a falling arrow with a shield.

Earnings season is nearly on us, and rising inflation and hiked interest rates may prove a major weight for many S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) constituents.

Data released yesterday found Australian inflation hit its highest point in two decades last quarter, with the nation’s annual CPI surging to 6.1%.

A plethora of inflationary causes and effects, alongside other happenings, have seen the ASX 200 dump 10% since the start of 2022.  

And fund manager Fidelity International isn’t sitting on its hands. Its Fidelity Future Leaders Fund snapped up shares in three ASX 200 companies it believes have “defensive earnings stream[s]” and are in prime position for a post-pandemic recovery.

3 ASX 200 shares with defensive earnings: fundie

Ampol Ltd (ASX: ALD)

Shares in ASX 200 fuel and convince retailer Ampol have been performing well this year. Fidelity is expecting Ampol to deliver decent earnings in the future.

The company released an update last week announcing “unprecedented” refiner margins in the June quarter, coming in at US$32.96 per barrel.

Ampol was added as a new holding in the fund last quarter, taking up a 4.1% position.

Viva Energy Group Ltd (ASX: VEA)

2022 has also been a great year so far for the Viva share price. It has lifted 11% year to date.

The company also benefited from higher refinery margins last quarter, as well as rising sales. Its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) are expected to have more than doubled in the first half.

Viva shares made up 2.8% of the fund’s holdings as of the end of June.  

Atlas Ateria Group (ASX: ALX)

Finally, ASX 200 toll road operator Atlas Ateria has seen its share price spike nearly 18% this year.

The company is benefiting from fewer COVID-19 restrictions, posting a 19% increase in revenue for the June quarter.

It has also been a takeover target in the eyes of private equity in recent weeks. Atlas Arteria has had two meetings with IFM after the fund noted it was considering posting an acquisition offer earlier this month. IFM announced it’s not currently interested in putting forward a bid this morning.

Atlas Arteria was added as a new position in the Fidelity Future Leaders Fund last quarter. It takes up a 2.8% spot.

The post 3 ASX 200 shares wielding a shield for returns: fundie appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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