10 FTSE 100 Shares Trading Near 52-Week Lows

LONDON -- The FTSE 100  (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE  ) is up more than 3% in January -- but don't think there are no cheap shares around. There is always a stock worth buying somewhere, whatever the market conditions.

I trawled the FTSE 100 to find companies trading within 12% of their lowest point for a year. My screen has turned up a large number of shares worthy of further research.

Name

Price (pence)

P/E (forecast)

Yield (forecast)

Market Cap (millions of pounds)

Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB  )

2,220

8.4

4.9%

138,917

Vodafone (LSE: VOD  )

160

10.3

6.1%

78,714

GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK  )

1,382

12.3

5.4%

68,082

British American Tobacco (LSE: BATS  )

3,175

15.4

4.2%

61,495

BG

1,038

12.3

1.6%

35,309

Imperial Tobacco

2,443

11.4

4.8%

24,136

Pearson

1,222

14.4

3.7%

9,971

WM Morrison Supermarkets

257

9.6

4.6%

6,188

Aggreko (LSE: AGK  )

1,765

17.4

1.3%

4,736

Severn Trent

1,610

17.1

4.7%

3,837

Data from Stockopedia.

I've picked out five shares for further research.

Royal Dutch Shell
Shell trades on just eight times broker forecasts for 2013. The dividend payout for the year is expected to hit $1.80. At today's share price, that's a yield of 5%. There are few better dividend payers in the world than Shell: Shareholders have not suffered a dividend cut since the end of World War II, and since 2006, the payout is up nearly 50%.

Bears worry about Shell's ability to replace its reserves. BP's Gulf of Mexico misfortune forced investors to reassess the risk of investing in big oil companies. However, this low could present a great opportunity to buy into a large, financially secure super-share.

British American Tobacco
BATS has long been considered one of the most dependable blue-chip shares in the FTSE 100. In the last five years, earnings per share at the company have increased, on average, by 10.1% per annum. In that time, dividend growth has been even faster. The payout has been increased, on average, by 17.7% a year. The dividend has been increased every year since 1998.

Dividend growth is forecast to moderate this year and next. Expectations are for the next set of results to show a 27% increase in EPS, followed by a 9% rise for the year after.

I'm not excited by the prospects at BATS, however. I think that in the U.K., cigarette consumption is now in a period of permanent decline. With a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 15.4, BATS will have to increase sales in developing markets to stop its shares from drifting much lower.

Aggreko
In the last five years, Aggreko has been one of Britain's great export stories. The company specializes in the rental of temporary power-generation equipment. Business has boomed on the back of large-scale military deployments and big sporting events.

In the last five years, sales increased threefold. Earnings increased fivefold. The dividend was increased, on average, 24.5% a year. By 2012, the market was in love with the stock: Agrekko's P/E hit 20, and the company was promoted to the FTSE 100.

However, in December a trading statement from the company saw the shares lose more than 20% of their value. The absence of a large event like the Olympic Games and a reduction of troop numbers in Afghanistan mean a drop in earnings is forecast for 2013.

GlaxoSmithKline
The Glaxo dividend is forecast to grow 4.4% in 2013 to reach 77.5 pence per share. At today's share price, that equates to a 5.6% dividend yield. 2013 earnings are forecast to be 5.2% ahead of what the company made in 2012. What's not to like?

It is worth nothing that analyst expectations of 2012 profitability have spent the last year falling. This time last year, earnings per share of 123.3 pence were expected for 2012. Now it is 112.3 pence. In the last three months, 5.5 pence has been trimmed from consensus expectations for 2013.

While things are not bad at Glaxo, the forecasts demonstrate that perceptions have been worsening.

Vodafone
Vodafone is expected to overtake Shell in 2012 as the biggest dividend payer in the FTSE 100. A huge part of Vodafone's 2012 payout is from a special dividend the company paid in February last year. Vodafone itself got this money from its U.S. joint venture, Verizon Wireless.

Vodafone received a further 2.4 billion pound dividend from Verizon Wireless at the end of 2012. To some shareholder disquiet, Vodafone plans to use 1.5 billion pounds of this buying back its own shares. As a Vodafone shareholder, I'm not particularly upset by this. With a forecast yield for 2013 of 6.1%, the shares already deliver good income.

Vodafone shares are up 3% this year. Since the buyback program commenced on Dec. 10, Vodafone has spent 166 million pounds on share repurchases. In other words, the buyback is little more than a 10th complete.

If you like to research the shares other investors are rejecting, then you are a contrarian investor. Don't worry -- that puts you in some great company. Warren Buffett, the world's greatest investor, has talked previously about the need to buy when others are feeling fearful. Recently, Buffett has been buying shares in a British blue chip. If you want to learn which share this sage has been buying and why, check out the free Motley Fool report "The One U.K. Share Warren Buffett Loves." To start learning from this master investor, click here to get the report.


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