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Best stocks to buy now: 2 of my top picks for the rest of 2021

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Jonathan Smith
·3-min read
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Silver and golden colorful Christmas glitters showing the year 2021 on turquoise background.
Silver and golden colorful Christmas glitters showing the year 2021 on turquoise background.

We’re almost through the first quarter of 2021. How time flies! So, with spring here and summer beckoning, I want to look at some of my best stocks to buy now for the rest of the year. Also, I’d much rather do my research and buy the stocks now given the time I have available during lockdown. This also ties in with buying now ahead of the upcoming ISA allowance deadline.

A gamble or dead certain?

First up is Entain (LSE:ENT). It was previously called GVC Holdings, and is a company that owns gambling brands such as Ladbrokes and Coral. I think it’s a great stock to buy now based on recent news and share price performance. The stock is up over 300% in the past year.

Even with physical stores closed for much of the past year, full-year results showed that online sports and gaming growth beat the negatives. This allowed for 1% top line growth versus 2019.

Another positive story within the past week is the acceptance of a takeover bid by Enlabs. This deal will see Entain buy Enlabs for £316m, in what should be a good acquisition of a similar betting company.

The risk I see with the company is the potential drop in online revenue following lifting of lockdowns around the world. Even though physical stores can reopen, the risk is that foot traffic won’t be enough to counterbalance the fall in online numbers, leading to a fall overall.

Another top stock to buy now

The second company that I think is one of the best stocks to buy now is Kingfisher (LSE:KGF). Similar to Entain, it owns different brands under the corporate umbrella. These include B&Q and Screwfix. Share price performance has been impressive, up 156% over the past year.

I think the outlook is positive for the company, even despite the potential hit from lockdown easing. As I noted back in January, the business has seen a boom during 2020 thanks to all of us tackling more DIY projects and making home improvements. This drove double-digit sales growth in both Q3 and Q4.

Even though I do think easing lockdown will reduce demand slightly, I feel consumer mindsets will have changed having realised a lot of DIY jobs aren’t that hard (I’m speaking from experience here). Add into the mix the likely strong housing demand thanks to the stamp duty extension period, and I think Kingfisher will be a top stock to buy for the rest of the year.

One issue that Kingfisher need to monitor is operational performance with the brands (such as Castorama) within Europe. The company mentioned this in the full-year report that operations needed to be improved, particularly in France. The impact on distribution post-Brexit is also something that won’t be easy to adjust to.

Overall though, I think both Entain and Kingfisher are top stocks to buy now.

The post Best stocks to buy now: 2 of my top picks for the rest of 2021 appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.

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jonathansmith1 has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Motley Fool UK 2021