3 dirt-cheap UK shares (including 2 top penny stocks) to buy

I’m shopping for the best value stocks to buy for 2022. Here are some ultra-cheap UK shares (including a couple of penny stocks) on my shortlist.

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Looking for ultra-cheap UK shares? I am and here are three low-cost British stocks I’m thinking of buying today, including two top-quality penny stocks.

Riding the jobs market

I’m considering buy Staffline Group as the British jobs market looks likely to remain lively as we move into 2022. A survey by Randstad UK at the top of the month suggested that 69% of workers are feeling confident about finding a new vocation. Almost a quarter of the 6,000 people it questioned said they are seeking to switch employment in the next three to six months, too.

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This bodes well for Staffline, a company that helps people find work and provides training services for employees. The recruiter could suffer if economic growth grinds to a complete halt and firms stop taking on staff. However, its exposure to robust sectors like food production and e-commerce could help offset such a problem.

Another top penny stock I’d buy

Speaking of e-commerce, I think DX Group could be a clever buy for me in the near term and beyond. Changing consumer preferences, technological improvements, and heavy investment by companies in their digital operations means that online shopping volumes look set to keep growing. Analysts at Savills think e-tail will account for 18.5% of all retail sales in Britain next year.

This bodes well for DX Group, a penny stock which provides logistics services across the UK and Ireland. I’m mindful, however, that profits growth could disappoint if a Treasury consultation next year leads to the introduction of an online sales tax. This could have a significant impact on packages volumes on couriers like DX.

A cheap UK share to buy on the dip!

Signs of slowing growth can prove a disaster for UK shares that trade on high earnings multiples. This was the case for dotDigital Group (LSE: DOTD), an IT services provider whose share price just closed at seven-month lows. The business — whose software allows companies to provide personalised shopping experiences to their online customers — has slumped on news that its trading environment has “normalised”. It had enjoyed a roaring trade previously as Covid-19 retail lockdowns boosted demand for its online technology.

The problem with buying dotDigital shares today is that the business still trades on a high P/E ratio despite this recent correction. At current prices of 185p per share the tech share commands an earnings multiple of 46 times.

Still, as a long-term investor I’m still giving dotDigital a close look. I think it could be a shrewd dip buy as competition amongst online retailers heats up. A congested marketplace means that businesses will need to spend heavily to stand out from their rivals. So while sales growth at dotDigital might be slower compared to that witnessed during the coronavirus crisis, I’m confident the business could still experience strong and sustained revenues expansion through the next several years at least.

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Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended dotDigital Group. 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.

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