Should I Buy These 5 Shares?

LONDON -- Shopping for shares isn't easy -- there's so much to buy! How's a Fool to choose? Here are five stocks I've added to my shopping basket in recent weeks, but should I take any of them to the checkout?

Buying the pharm
So, let's start with GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK.L  ) . When I recently asked "should I buy GlaxoSmithKline?," I concluded that the U.K.'s largest pharmaceutical company should bolster your portfolio's immune system if the global economy succumb to the snuffles. On a forecast price-to-earnings ratio of 12.5, you aren't picking up a bargain, but its forecast yield of 5.2% means you'll be too busy banking the income to worry. Would I buy it today? You bet I would. There is never a bad time to get an injection of defensive solidity in your portfolio.

Check this out
Holy handbags, Batman, whatever happened to Burberry Group (LSE: BRBY.L  ) ? When I perused the U.K. fashion giant last month, it was down 33% from its 52-week high, after slipping out of vogue in China. The only people buying were the directors, who couldn't resist a bargain, and splashed out more than 1 million pounds of their own money. Like last year's fashions, Burberry's stocks are being flogged off cheap -- yours for just a tenner. I'm not expecting an instant recovery. But at these prices, I'm tempted to buy anyway.

Food for thought
When I had a nibble at Associated British Foods (LSE: ABF.L  ) , it tasted a bit strange. That's because its main selling point isn't food brands such as Ovaltine, Silver Spoon, Jordans and Twinings, but cheapo fashion chain Primark. Thinking about it, do people even drink Ovaltine anymore? Primark's cut-price cool has fought off competition from the Olympics, the recession, and rising youth unemployment to post a steady rise in sales, and it looks well placed to fight off anything the global economy chucks at it. The problem is that the market knows it. All the good news is priced into the share. Which is bad news for me.

Blithe spirits
At times like these, who doesn't need a drink? Spirits maker and brewer Diageo (LSE: DGE.L  ) knows the answer to that question, because its stocks have gone down a treat in the recession. It operates in more than 180 countries worldwide, and that means an awful lot of thirsty customers. When I recently tried to get the measure of Diageo, I discovered its share price had already risen 50% over 12 months (great news for me, I hold it). It has since fizzed 5% more. Plenty of people want a taste of its recent success, but I'm saying no to a top-up. On a forecast P/E of 17.1 for June 2013, there must be better value prospects out there. I won't buy, but I am most definitely holding.

Here Weir go
Investing isn't just meat and drink, you know. You can also sink your teeth into sprightly engineering companies such as Weir Group (LSE: WEIR.L  ) . When I recently examined the company, a number of fellow Fools posted the view that Weir Group is a buy, but not at these prices. They thought that 15 pounds looked about right, but 18 pounds is a little pricey. Who am I to disagree? The Scottish pump and turbine maker is a bit of a bellwether for how confident people feel about China and commodities. As such, it has been quite volatile lately. I'm still keen to buy, but only on a dip.

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Harvey Jones owns shares in GlaxoSmithKline and Diageo. He doesn't hold any other company mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in Burberry. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.


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