I’m considering which UK stocks I’d like to buy this month. The rollout of the Covid vaccination programme is continuing apace. And while we’re not out of the woods yet, my optimism about a return to normality is rising.
The three companies I’ve got my eye on right now had bright growth prospects before the pandemic struck. They’ve been battered by lockdowns. However, I think they’re strong businesses and are soundly positioned for recovery in a full reopening of the economy.
My stocks to buy list
Cinema company Everyman Media Group (LSE: EMAN) suffered severe disruption in 2020. It saw just 10 weeks of normal trading conditions against 17 weeks of restricted trading and 25 weeks of full closure. Much of the first half of 2021 has been a washout too.
Thanks to vaccines and the UK’s roadmap out of lockdown, EMAN shares have risen from their lows of last year. Nevertheless, the business is still priced at a discount to its pre-pandemic value. Clearly, there’s a near-term risk the stock’s recovery could stall if I were to buy now and we see a delay to the 21 June D-Day, or even renewed lockdowns or restrictions. Beyond this, there’s competition from other cinemas and streaming services like Netflix.
However, I think Everyman can thrive due to its differentiated premium offering. It has atmospheric venues, and quality food and drink. And its programme of content ranges from mainstream and independent films to theatre and live concert streams.
Another premium leisure brand
Fuller, Smith & Turner (LSE: FSTA) also ranks highly on my list of stocks to buy in June. As you’d expect, this premium pubs and hotels group is another business that’s been hit hard by the pandemic. Its pubs were open on only 27% of the 388 days between 20 March 2020 and 12 April 2021.
As with EMAN — and also with my third stock to buy in June — FSTA shares have risen from their lows of last year, but remain at a discount to their pre-pandemic value. Like the cinema chain, the recovery of the FSTA share price could stall in the event of renewed lockdowns or restrictions. Also, with its significant focus on London, Fullers could potentially be held back by a slow return of tourists to the capital and workers to city offices.
On balance though, I reckon Fullers’ well-invested estate and ownership of some of London’s most iconic pubs should serve it well.
My travel stock to buy
Travel is another sector that’s endured a severe adverse impact from the pandemic. But National Express (LSE: NEX) is one stock in the sector I’m keen on right now. Like Everyman and Fullers, National Express has strengthened its balance sheet with an equity fundraising and secured additional liquidity from supportive lenders.
Nevertheless, the NEX share price could suffer should there be a slower-than-expected full reopening of the economy. Beyond this, the company also faces the challenge of moving to a fully zero-emissions fleet for a cleaner and greener future.
However, with its scale and good history of innovation, I think it’s well placed to meet the challenge. As such, NEX also makes it onto my list of stocks to buy in June.