The FTSE 100 is packed with top-quality bargains. Here are two cheap blue-chip UK shares I’m considering buying right now.
A FTSE 100 share for the e-commerce age
To me, it’s no surprise the Royal Mail (LSE: RMG) share price has remained afloat in recent weeks. While many other UK shares face a significant Omicron-related hit, Royal Mail could likely benefit from a worsening Covid-19 crisis.
Parcels traffic at the courier soared last year as lockdowns pushed shoppers away from the high street and onto their mobiles and laptops. So it’s not a stretch to suggest that that e-commerce sales could balloon again as virus infection rates rise. Sales could surge even if further restrictions aren’t imposed, such is the scale of anxiety among shoppers, as analysts over at ParcelHero recently mentioned.
City analysts believe earnings at Royal Mail will rise 14% in this fiscal period (to March 2022). Though I think projections could be upgraded depending on the state of the public health emergency. Regardless of this, I’d still buy the delivery giant’s shares today as e-commerce looks set to keep growing rapidly anway. Dropshipping business Oberlo reckons 24.6% of all retail sales will be made online by 2025. That compares to an estimated 19.5% share for this outgoing year.
Current forecasts mean the Royal Mail share price commands a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of just below 8 times. Moreover, at current levels, the courier sports a chunky 4.6% dividend yield. This reading beats the broader 3.5% FTSE 100 average by a decent distance. Letter and parcel volumes at Royal Mail could suffer if the UK economy cools sharply. But I believe the business still looks highly attractive from a reward-to-risk perspective.
5% dividend yields
I’m also thinking about adding National Grid (LSE: NG) to my stocks portfolio alongside Royal Mail. This is because its ultra-defensive operations (it has a monopoly on maintaining Britain’s electricity grid) provide excellent peace of mind when it seems the world is going to hell in a handcart. Its services will remain essential even if the Covid-19 crisis spirals out of control and the economy tanks.
Like any UK share, of course, National Grid exposes its investors to certain risks. For example, the business of maintaining the country’s network of pylons, substations and other hardware is an expensive, profits-sapping business. These costs can unexpectedly rise in the event of extreme weather too. Furthermore, the threat that lawmakers could strip National Grid of its role as sole guardian of the grid is an ever-present risk that its shareholders face.
Still, at current prices, these are dangers I’m happy to accept. City brokers think National Grid’s earnings will soar 17% in the financial year ending March 2022. This leaves the business trading on a forward price-to-earnings growth (PEG) ratio of just 0.6. A reminder that a reading below 1 suggests a share could be undervalued by the market.
This, combined with a 5% forward dividend yield, makes National Grid excellent value for money, in my opinion.
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Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. 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.