Investors now have just two weeks left to contribute up to £20,000 to their tax-efficient Stocks and Shares ISAs. This morning, I’m highlighting three of what I consider to be the best FTSE 100 stocks to spend this allowance on.
Shares in luxury goods maker Burberry (LSE: BRBY) jumped earlier this month following an unexpected (and unexpectedly encouraging) update on trading. The FTSE 100 member said that it had continued to see a “strong rebound” in trading since December. Comparable retail Q4 sales were now predicted to be between 28% and 32% higher than in the previous financial year.
Sure, this needs to be put in context. The fact that Burberry was forced to close many of its stores in 2020 means the damage done by the pandemic will still be evident in the full-year numbers. Group revenue is already expected to be down by around 10% or 11%. So, while the FTSE 100 is beating expectations, those expectations weren’t particularly high to begin with.
Notwithstanding this, I’m confident that Burberry is through the worst. In the absence of any more global crises, I think there’s a good chance it will eclipse the previous share-price-high before the end of 2021. Of course, there’s no guarantee that we won’t see more global crises so that remains a risk.
FTSE 100 consumer goods behemoth Unilever (LSE: ULVR) hasn’t had a very good 2021 so far. Sluggish profit growth has shaken investor confidence. The share price is down almost 11% since the beginning of the year and almost 25% from its record high back in August 2019.
As frustrating as this is, I think we should consider the bigger picture. Over many years, Unilever has been an outstanding investment thanks to its global reach and huge portfolio of ‘sticky’ brands. Like Burberry, returns on capital employed (ROCE) and operating margins — two measures of a company’s quality — have been consistently solid.
Of course, there’s always a risk things get worse before they get better. And there’s also a risk that sluggish growth is here to stay. Past performance is, after all, no guide to the future. Given that Unilever is currently trading on a historically-below-average 19 times forecast earnings, however, I suspect now is a good time to load up. There’s always the 3.7% dividend to temporarily soothe the pain.
I’ve long been bullish on premium spirit maker Diageo‘s (LSE: DGE) ability to rebound from the pandemic and I still think so. If anything, I think time may be running out to acquire the stock before a significant price recovery kicks in.
In the UK, pubs and restaurants can serve customers outside from April 12. Indoor service should resume in May. The lifting of all restrictions on June 21 will also mean nightclubs can finally reopen. All of these developments should be good news for Diageo.
Yes, this assumes vaccine rollouts continue to progress both here and abroad. It also assumes that our desire to socialise will return to normal. Major shareholder Nick Train believes this will be the case. Nothing can be guaranteed though.
Diageo shares have traded pretty much within the 2800p-3000p range since November. They may continue to do so for a while longer. Even so, I’m increasingly confident that we’ll look back on the current share price as an opportunity by the end of the year.