Top ASX shares to buy in March 2023

A happy looking woman holding a colourful umbrella against a grey cloudy sky.A happy looking woman holding a colourful umbrella against a grey cloudy sky.

As the Autumn leaves turn brown and begin to fall, investors will be hoping their ASX shares remain firmly in the green.

This follows an event-filled earnings season, after which many shareholders will be taking stock of their holdings and making some changes based on those ASX companies that performed, and those that failed to deliver.

If you’re looking to usher out the old and welcome some new investments to your portfolio this month, here are a few ideas to get you started.

Because, as always at the start of a new month, we asked our Foolish writers which ASX shares they think offer top buying in March.

Here is what the team came up with:

7 best ASX shares for March 2023 (smallest to largest)

  • Aeris Resources Ltd (ASX: AIS), $476.75 million
  • Propel Funeral Partners Ltd (ASX: PFP), $519.02 million
  • Accent Group Ltd (ASX: AX1), $1.27 billion
  • Lovisa Holdings Ltd (ASX: LOV), $2.61 billion
  • Block Inc (ASX: SQ2), $3.56 billion
  • Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS), $12.59 billion
  • Telstra Group Ltd (ASX: TLS), $48.07 billion

(Market capitalisation as of 28 February 2023)

Why our Foolish writers love these ASX stocks

Aeris Resources Ltd

What it does: Aeris calls itself a mid-tier base and precious metals producer, with copper forming the biggest part of its portfolio. The All Ordinaries Index (ASX: XAO) miner also produces gold and zinc.

By Tristan Harrison: I believe the acquisition of Round Oak has boosted this miner’s prospects. It has recently reported a number of exploration successes that could help it become bigger in the coming years.

Aeris is also debt free, meaning its balance sheet is in good shape to pursue opportunities.

Furthermore, I think copper has a very promising future as the world looks to decarbonise and electrify economies. Improving the electric grid and manufacturing electric vehicles will need more copper.

Commsec numbers suggest Aeris could make 15 cents of earnings per share (EPS) in FY24, putting the Aeris Resources share price at just five times FY24’s estimated earnings.

Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison does not own shares in Aeris Resources Ltd.

Propel Funeral Partners Ltd

What it does: Propel Funeral Partners is the second-largest private provider of death care services across Australia and New Zealand. The company holds a vast presence across its 152 operating locations, including 35 cremation facilities and nine cemeteries.

By Mitchell Lawler: There is a combination of characteristics I find highly desirable in the ASX shares I look to invest in. These being businesses that are hard to disrupt, operate in fragmented industries, have a proven track record for growth, and are run by management with skin in the game. Propel is a company that ticks all of these boxes, from where I’m standing.

There are two big players in this industry – InvoCare Limited (ASX: IVC) and Propel. Outside of these two, there is around 70% market share – made up of primarily small, family-run operations – which is arguably just waiting to be consolidated. The Propel team has proven its ability in this regard, having grown its operations from one location in 2013 to now more than 150.

In my opinion, a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 27 times is far too cheap for a company that just posted a 35% increase in operating net profits in the latest half. While I suspect this could slow as funeral volumes return to historical averages, I believe the long-term trend is favourable.

Motley Fool contributor Mitchell Lawler does not own shares in Propel Funeral Partners Ltd.

Accent Group Ltd

What it does: Accent Group is a footwear and clothing retailer and distributor. It’s behind such stores as Platypus, The Athlete’s Foot, Skechers, Dr Martens, and Vans.

By Brooke Cooper: Accent dropped its first-half earnings last week, delivering impressive growth and a positive outlook.

It posted a 39% jump in sales and a 290% increase in net profit after tax (NPAT). The retailer also declared a 12 cent per share fully franked interim dividend, while its debt levels fell to $63.6 million.

To top it off, Accent hasn’t seen any significant change in consumer spending despite economic uncertainty, perhaps as its younger target market likely isn’t highly impacted by rising interest rates or cost of living pressures.

Goldman Sachs has a buy rating and a $2.90 price target on Accent shares. This represents around 30% upside based on the current share price.

Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper does not own shares of Accent Group Ltd.

Lovisa Holdings Ltd

What it does: Lovisa is a fast-fashion jewellery retailer with a rapidly-growing global footprint.

By James Mickleboro: I think Lovisa would be a great long-term option for investors due to its strong brand, relatively low price point, and bold global expansion plans.

With respect to the latter, during the first half of FY 2023, Lovisa opened 86 net new stores, bringing its total to 715. While this is a large number, I believe it’s well short of what could be achieved in the future.

For example, in the United States, the company now has 155 stores. This is less than the 163 stores it operates in Australia, despite the US population being around 13 times greater than ours.

And with its talented management team highly experienced in global rollouts for retail brands, including Guess and Zara, I believe the company could be destined to grow its store network into the thousands by the end of 2020s.

It’s no wonder that Morgans has previously suggested that Lovisa could “prove to be one of the biggest success stories in Australian retail“.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro does not own shares in Lovisa Holdings Ltd.

Block Inc

What it does: Block is the US tech giant formerly known as Square. It runs several highly successful apps and provides payment services, including Afterpay.

By Sebastian Bowen: Block is an S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) share that has had a very turbulent year or two. But the company’s latest quarterly report showed some very pleasing numbers.

The fintech company reported a 14% jump in revenues, as well as a 40% spike in gross profits and a 53% increase in earnings.

Block’s Cash App continues to go from strength to strength, with the app’s profits rising 64% year on year and Afterpay netting Block $200 million in profits over the quarter.

Block is an exciting fintech company, and one with exposure to multiple markets across different countries. As such, I think it is well worth looking at this March.

Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen does not own shares in Block Inc.

Pilbara Minerals Ltd

What it does: Pilbara Minerals is an ASX 200-listed lithium and tantalum producer. Its 100% owned Pilgangoora Lithium-Tantalum Project, located in Western Australia, is said to be the world’s largest, independent hard-rock lithium operation.

By Bernd Struben: I believe Pilbara Minerals is doing a great job executing its development and growth strategies, as demonstrated by its half-year results.

Compared to the prior corresponding period, the lithium miner saw sales revenue surge 305% to $2.2 billion and statutory net profit after tax (NPAT) leapt 989% to $1.2 billion.

The company also declared its first-ever dividend of 11 cents per share, fully franked. That represents a 2.6% yield at the current price. Pilbara trades ex-dividend on Thursday, 2 March.

The Pilbara Minerals share price is up by around 60% in 12 months. But I believe the miner has far more to offer long term, as the growth outlook for EVs and grid storage batteries – most of which require lithium – remains very strong.

Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben does not own shares in Pilbara Minerals Ltd.

Telstra Group Ltd

What it does: Telstra is Australia’s largest provider of telecommunications and information products and services.

By Bronwyn Allen: Australia’s biggest telco and the largest ASX communications stock by market cap is currently a favourite among several top brokers.

Macquarie has placed Telstra at the top of its model income portfolio with an 8.8% weighting. It likes Telstra’s higher earnings certainty, strong cash flows, and fully-franked dividends.

Macquarie has an outperform rating and a 12-month price target of $4.64. After Telstra released its half-year earnings earlier this month, Goldman Sachs reiterated its buy rating with a price target of $4.60.

Morgans says the telco industry “has the strongest tailwinds in a decade” and has a $4.70 price target on Telstra shares. At market close on Tuesday, the Telstra share price was sitting at $4.16.

Motley Fool contributor Bronwyn Allen does not own shares in Telstra Group Ltd.

The post Top ASX shares to buy in March 2023 appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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More reading

The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Block and Lovisa. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Block and Telstra Group. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Accent Group, Lovisa, and Propel Funeral Partners. 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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