As the UK economy continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, I have been looking for cheap stocks to buy for my portfolio. Here are two companies that I believe could achieve strong growth as the UK moves on from the crisis.
Cheap stocks to buy
Commercial property, especially retail and office properties, have been particularly severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. As office workers have been advised to stay at home, and retailers have been forced to close, rent collection has plunged. Landlords have had to write down the value of their property portfolios as a result.
Great Portland Estates (LSE: GPOR) has not been able to escape the carnage. According to the company’s full-year results for the year ended 31 March 2021, the value of its property portfolio declined by 8.7% last year. The value of its office properties fell 1.7%, and retail properties declined 27.3%. As a result, its net asset value per share decreased 10.3% to 779p.
I think this presents an excellent opportunity, which is why I believe it is one of the best cheap stocks to buy.
Initial indications suggest that consumers have quickly returned to retail outlets as they have reopened. Meanwhile, some office properties across central London, where the bulk of Great Portland’s estate is located, are reporting the strong demand for tenants.
As such, I would buy this company as part of my basket of cheap stocks. While the business may encounter further turbulence, demand for its properties could expand rapidly as the economy reopens.
Unfortunately, a recovery isn’t guaranteed. Another coronavirus wave or a change in government guidance could hurt tenant confidence. This may lead to reduced demand for office and retail space. That would put further downward pressure on the value of Great Portland’s property portfolio. I see this is as the most considerable risk the company faces right now.
EasyJet‘s (LSE: EZJ) recovery looked as if it was guaranteed earlier this year, but the government’s flip-flopping on travel from the UK has dented the group’s recovery prospects.
Moreover, it looks as if some restrictions on travel could last until 2022. Therefore, it could be some time before the organisation can capitalise on its position in the market as one of the best low-cost carriers in Europe.
Still, I think this is one of the best cheap stocks to buy because of its recovery potential. EasyJet’s brand is incredibly valuable, and I don’t think the market appreciates this right now.
Further, consumers are already showing a willingness to spend more on travel as the economy reopens. This suggests to me that there could be a surge in bookings when unrestricted travel resumes.
As well as this tailwind, the airline has also shown a willingness to return excess profits to investors with dividends. It may take some time for the company to resume its dividend distributions (if it ever does). Still, this is another reason I would buy the corporation for my portfolio of cheap stocks.
Rupert Hargreaves owns shares in Great Portland Estates. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.