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A market fall of 1% or so saw the private clients of stockbroker TD Direct Investing load up on potential bargains between the market's opening and 12 noon.
First up: Xcite Energy (LSE: XEL.L ) , which, as Roland Head reports today, has climbed 48% to 113 pence over the last month. Still very much a share for oil and gas veterans rather than widows and orphans, Xcite combines the best of the "small oilie" world in one package: revenues from existing production, and the prospects of gains from future production. Analysts have pencilled in profits of 25 million pounds for next year and reckon that the share is a "strong buy." Long-term shareholders, who have had a decidedly bumpy ride, can only hope they're right.
One place further down the list of popular buys was Vodafone, which was the second-most popular pick by TD Direct Investing's private clients between the market's opening and 12 noon. Opening sharply lower on analyst comment and taxation treatment concerns, the fall in price -- reaching 2% as the morning wore on -- was enough to bring out the bargain hunters. One of the five largest shares in the FTSE 100 (UKX), Vodafone offers a forecast yield of over 7%, on a forecast price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio that's virtually identical to the broader FTSE's own P/E.
Elsewhere, bargain seekers were also taking advantage of market weakness at GlaxoSmithKline to top up. Falling 1.5% -- rather more than the broader FTSE 100 -- the drugs-to-toothpaste giant offers a 5% yield, again on a P/E almost identical to the FTSE average. Having outperformed the FTSE in recent times, the margin between Glaxo shares and London's flagship index has fallen back over the last month to a position of virtual parity. For some buyers, for a share with Glaxo's defensive qualities, that clearly signals "cheap."
Finally, what are superinvestors Neil Woodford and Warren Buffett buying today? We can't tell you that, but we can tell you the names of the shares they've been buying in the recent past -- and why they've been buying them.
More investing ideas from Malcolm Wheatley:
Malcolm owns shares in BT and GlaxoSmithKline, but has no disclosable interest in any other of the shares listed.
Disclaimer: The TD Direct Investing (www.tddirectinvesting.co.uk) list of Top Ten Buys should not be taken as a recommendation to buy or sell any particular bond or stock, and is not intended as any form of advice. Instead, it is simply an indication of the general buying trends among TD Direct Investing customers during the period stated.