Why is Macquarie optimistic about these 3 ASX stocks?

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ASX stocks gained a quick recovery in December after investors knocked some foam out of the market in previous months, spurred on by fears of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

Today is the benchmark S & P / ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is rising in afternoon trading, up 1.27% to 7,514 points at the time of writing.

As we move into the new year, it’s a useful exercise to check what choices are on the radar of top brokers covering the Australian markets. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what Macquarie says on these 3 ASX shares.

Shares of ASX resource giant Rio Tinto are down today, down just 0.21% to $ 98.89 apiece.

In a recent note to customers, Macquarie Bank was positive about Rio’s acquisition of the Rincon lithium project in Argentina, noting that it shows the miner’s commitment to investing in low-carbon raw materials.

The Rincon mine has a capacity for the production of 50,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate on an annual basis with a mining life of 40 years.

Macquarie says that when they bake these numbers into Rio’s annual production prospects, it raises the resource giant’s long-term lithium carbonate production to 108,000 tons of lithium a year.

The broker tips Rio to surpass and rates it as a purchase with a price target of $ 133, indicating a safety margin of 34% at the time of writing.

In a recent note to clients, Macquarie says it was a bit confused with Charter Hall’s spending of $ 207 million to buy a 50% stake in Paradice Investment Management.

The bank also notes that Charter Hall had previously sought to expand its foothold to infrastructure by potentially buying Hastings’ platform along with its real estate debt.

Although none of these investments came through, Macquarie acknowledges that the ventures “were still in the realm of real assets, which in our opinion is closer to the core competency of Charter Hall compared to a listed equity fund manager”.

Alas, the broker reckons that the acquisition of Paradice is an important focal point for Charter Hall’s upcoming results for the first half of February.

Macquarie has Charter Hall as a buyer and values ​​the company at $ 22.98 per share. JP Morgan, Barrenjoey, Morgan Stanley, Jefferies and Jarden also list Charter Hall as a purchase.

Nine Entertainment Co. Holdings Ltd (ASX: NEC)

Shares in Nine Entertainment are up today, trading 1.42% at $ 2.85 apiece.

According to a recent note to customers, Macquarie reckons that Nine’s contract renewal for broadcasting rights from the National Rugby League (NRL) on more favorable terms is a positive result for the media giant.

After a long period of negotiations, the NRL and Nine entered into the $ 575 million agreement only last week, extending the partnership to more than 40 years.

The broker notes that Nine won the new $ 130 million a year contract for 2023 to 2027. This agreement is about 7% lower than its previous agreements with the NRL.

The cost reflects a decline in audience sizes amid Nine’s forecasts for the period. Macquarie looks further upward in Nine’s stock price and values ​​the company at $ 2.90 per share.

Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan are more constructive in terms of the company’s stock price, with each broker allocating price targets of $ 3.75 and $ 3.60, respectively.

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