The FTSE 100 index hosts some of the top companies in the world. While the index receives a lot of investor interest, it is not equally distributed across every company. Darlings like Rolls-Royce and Lloyds see high daily trading volumes, while other top companies are overlooked, especially during a bear run.
I have identified two such FTSE 100 shares that are currently in the bottom half of the index when ranked by the 30-day average trading volume. And I think these companies look like they are ready to explode when the next bull run hits.
Spirax Sarco (LSE:SPX) and Croda International (LSE:CRDA) were big pandemic winners. Between March 2020 and December 2021, these two shares gained over 110%. In fact, Croda International was a top FTSE 100 performer across 2021, jumping 57% in a year.
But since this bull run, both shares have fallen significantly. Croda bottomed out at 4,490p in June 2022 after hitting all-time highs in December 2021. Spirax-Sarco too fell over 46% during the same period, bottoming out at 9,130p.
This caused investor interest to dampen. Thirty-day trading volume for Spirax-Sarco and Croda is currently at 168,000 and 434,000, respectively. For comparison, Lloyds shares recorded 205.33m trades during the same period.
But I think the tides are changing. Since the June low, both companies have rebounded by over 22%, showing me that if the market is healthy, these shares could grow very fast.
Croda International is a speciality chemical company operating in Britain for over a century. It focuses on chemicals used in beauty and personal care products. The firm also has a huge agriculture wing that focuses on chemicals required for crop growth.
The recently released first-half (H1) 2022 results showed that sales jumped by 21% compared to H1 2021. Similarly, profit before tax went up 26% to £636.5m including proceeds from recent sales.
The company recently redoubled its growth efforts in the fragrance industry, which is witnessing strong growth in emerging markets. It has a projected valuation of $58.8bn by 2022 which would bring compounded annual growth to 5.6%.
The second company on my list, Spirax-Sarco, is an engineering firm with a focus on steam management systems. This share gained a lot during the recent green energy push across Europe. And this has gathered more steam this year, making the market ripe for Spirax-Sarco, which creates efficient energy systems for industries.
In 2021, the company recorded a revenue of £1.3bn, up 17% from 2020. Total profits were £340.3m with an impressive margin of 25.3%. A strong positive is that insiders purchased Spirax shares worth over £462,000 last year and sold nothing.
While these are strong signs for both companies, I think there are some concerns to address. Both boards have noted fluctuating commodity prices as a major cause of concern for the coming months. Also, Croda has been spending a significant amount on R&D, which could backfire if there is a market crash.
And it is unlikely that these companies will recreate the runs they had in 2020. But given the strong fundamentals and large market share, I think I would make an investment in both companies in 2022 provided the rebound continues.