The FTSE 100 index is home to some particularly high-quality companies. These ‘super stocks’ tick many of the boxes I look at when seeking the very best shares to buy. They demonstrate earnings growth, strong balance sheets, and competent management. They also tend to have a competitive advantage. This allows them to achieve market-leading profitability.
So which FTSE 100 ‘super stocks’ would I consider buying right now? Well, there are several, but I’ll highlight three of my favourites.
Making the right moves
First, I’d consider property portal Rightmove (LSE:RMV). There are relatively few technology companies listed in the FTSE 100, but Rightmove is one of them. It holds a strong market position and is popular with home-hunters.
It has all of the qualities mentioned above, in my opinion. In particular, it boasts a triple-digit return on capital employed. That’s the greatest figure in the FTSE 100. At over 65%, it also has one of the largest profit margins in the index. Impressive.
One thing to look out for though. With inflation marching higher, a rise in interest rates could be around the corner. This could reduce housing activity, including visits to the site. Weighing everything up, I’d still buy this quality share for my Stocks and Shares ISA.
A FTSE 100 giant
My next ‘super stock’ is global drinks giant Diageo (LSE:DGE). Although listed in the UK, it’s a global business selling to over 180 countries around the world. Diageo has a long history of building highly successful brands including Johnnie Walker, Captain Morgan and Guinness. It should benefit from population growth and expects an additional 550m consumers coming of age this decade. Rising incomes across several developing countries are also helping to create new customers.
Premium spirits are becoming more popular, and Diageo holds a leading position in this space. I reckon it could grow its market share further over the coming years.
That said, it will need to look after its brands to hold market share. Also, it will need to keep an eye on counterfeit goods. Illicit products gained during the pandemic, particularly where there were alcohol bans.
As a defensive consumer staples company, it provides balance to some of my growth shares. As such, I’d happily buy these shares as a long-term investment.
Picks and shovels
Next, we have Ashtead (LSE:AHT). It rents out construction equipment like diggers and tractors. Although founded in the UK, much of its business today is in the faster-growing US market. Just this week, President Biden signed a $1.2trn infrastructure investment plan into law. Some of this investment will be used to rebuild roads, bridges and train tracks. And all of this construction work bodes well for Ashtead, in my opinion.
It’s a profitable and established business with ample room to grow further. There are several parts of the US into which it’s planning to expand. That said, it’s in a cyclical industry so it might suffer during the next recession. The timing of the next economic downturn is unknown, but it’s something to look out for. Overall though, I really like it and would consider buying the shares.
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Harshil Patel has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Diageo and Rightmove. 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.