2 great FTSE 100 shares lurking in the shadows

Jon Smith focuses on two FTSE 100 shares he feels don’t enjoy the level of attention their Footsie peers get from retail investors.

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Given that the FTSE 100 contains the largest businesses by market-cap, some might think all of the stocks garner front page exposure.

It’s true that all are well known, but retail investors often focus on companies they have affinity with. Therefore, there are some firms that don’t crop up in conversation as much.

Here are two I like that I don’t feel get the attention they deserve.

Not the British bank we’re thinking of

First up we have Standard Chartered (LSE:STAN). The British bank often gets overlooked by investors for the likes of Lloyds or Barclays. I think this is because Standard Chartered doesn’t have retail banking operations in the UK and therefore gets less exposure than some other British high street-based peers.

That said, there’s plenty of reasons to like the bank. Over the past year the share price has jumped 22% and recent half-year results also showed a 27% leap in profit before tax versus H1 2022.

Strong net interest income (driven by higher interest rates) is helping to boost revenue. It also recorded high growth rates in its Financial Markets and Wealth Management divisions.

An added benefit is that it isn’t exposed to the UK retail market. With concerns over the cost-of-living crisis, not being involved in this space is actually a bonus.

One risk is the pressure to keep a lid on expenses. These rose by 11% year-on-year, which is suprisingly high.

With a price-to-earnings ratio of just 9 and the stock down almost 50% over the past decade, I feel there’s strong long-term potential here.

Watch out for Weir

Weir Group (LSE:WEIR), the Scottish multinational engineering firm, is one of the smaller companies in the FTSE 100 with a market-cap of £4.6bn. To put this into context, fellow constituent Shell has a market-cap of £157bn.

I feel the size of the company and the less prominent nature of industrial engineering means Weir Group doesn’t get a lot of time in the spotlight. Yet with the share price up 10% over the past year, it’s beating the FTSE 100 average.

Momentum is really with the business, and I believe this can continue. Half-year results just out showed revenue up 16% versus the same time last year. It now has a record opening order book, something that should help revenue to continue to grow.

The company also has very good operating cash flow conversion (51%). This means it’s able to prevent bottlenecks in finances and means the business can function seamlessly on a day-to-day basis. The importance of this can’t be overstated.

One slight concern is rising net debt, from £792m to £842m. However, the net debt to EBIDTA ratio is only 1.5x, which is a very manageable figure. Yet the business does need to ensure it keeps an eye on this to prevent problems further down the line.

I feel both stocks are valuable additions to an investor’s portfolio, despite not having the prominence of some other FTSE 100 names.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

Jon Smith has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Barclays Plc, Lloyds Banking Group Plc, Standard Chartered Plc, and Weir Group Plc. 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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