The FTSE 100 has had a pretty good run this year and is not that far off its all-time high. As such, I don’t think it’s the best time to be buying the whole market right now, particularly with Donald Trump recently escalating the trade war conflict.
That said, there are a number of individual stocks within the index that I believe look attractive at present. Here’s a look at two FTSE 100 names I’d be happy to buy for my own portfolio today.
Reckitt Benckiser (LSE: RB) is a health and hygiene company that owns a powerful portfolio of leading brands including Dettol, Nurofen, and Vanish. Its products are sold in nearly 200 countries around the world and are trusted by millions of people every day.
RB shares have taken a hit this week after the group released disappointing half-year results on Tuesday. For the six-month period, the company squeezed out like-for-like growth of just 1%, which was below its own expectations, and the group also revised its full-year net revenue target down from 3%-4% to 2%-3%.
However, looking ahead, I continue to like the long-term story here. Not only does the group have substantial emerging markets exposure, which should drive growth as the wealth of citizens in these regions grows, but it is also highly focused on its e-commerce and digital strategy. An interim dividend hike of 4% on Tuesday suggests to me that management is also relatively confident about the future.
With Reckitt Benckiser shares currently trading under £62, the stock’s forward-looking P/E is around 18 (versus 22 for rival Unilever) and its prospective dividend yield is nearly 3%. I think those numbers are attractive for a company of Reckitt’s quality. As such, I rate the stock as a ‘buy’.
Another FTSE 100 stock that I like the look of right now is Rightmove (LSE: RMV), which operates the UK’s largest property website. Its share price has pulled back by around 10% over the last six weeks or so, and I think this has created a buying opportunity. I actually topped up my own personal holding in the stock last week.
Recent half-year results from Rightmove were not spectacular, but they were solid given the economic uncertainty the UK is facing right now due to Brexit. For the six months to the end of June, revenue rose 10% while underlying earnings per share jumped 12%. The company also hiked its dividend by 12%.
What I like about RMV is that it’s an extremely profitable company. Both profit margins and return on equity are astonishingly high. It’s also the clear market leader, which gives it a competitive advantage. Yes, it has some smaller rivals these days such as OnTheMarket, but the bottom line is that when searching for a house to buy or rent, most people check out Rightmove.
After the recent pullback, the shares now trade on a forward-looking P/E ratio of 26. That may not be a bargain valuation, yet I think it’s quite reasonable for a company as profitable as this one.
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Edward Sheldon owns shares in Reckitt Benckiser, Unilever and Rightmove. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of and has recommended Unilever. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Rightmove. 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 2019