The economic outlook remains fraught with danger as the public health emergency rolls on. And this means that UK share investors need to remain extremely careful before adding to their stocks portfolios.
I still plan to keep buying British stocks for my Stocks and Shares ISA in March though. I think there are plenty of top-quality stocks that should deliver good returns, despite the threat posed by Covid-19. Here are a couple I’d buy in the coming days.
#1: The FTSE 100 gambling goliath
I think Flutter Entertainment (LSE: FLTR) could be a wise UK share to buy before full-year results come out on Tuesday, March 2. The online gambling industry has been expanding at breakneck pace in recent years. And the sector has had a significant shot in the arm from Covid-19 as gamblers have been stopped from taking a trip to the bookies.
Flutter Entertainment’s last trading update certainly impressed me. Then it said that trading across both its sports and gaming divisions had performed better than expected in the third quarter. That followed a prediction-beating performance in the six months to June. I’m expecting trade at the FTSE 100 firm to remain strong too, underpinned by the popularity of its brands like Pokerstars and Paddy Power and its aggressive expansion into the US.
It might not all be plain sailing for Flutter Entertainment though. Recent action by the UK Gambling Commission reminds us of the constant threat that regulators pose. As the boffins at Hargreaves Lansdown note, “the spectre of greater regulation in the UK is hanging over the sector… affordability checks for customers who lose £100 or more a month [is] one option on the table.”
#2: Another forecast-beating UK share
I believe Forterra (LSE: FORT) might be another top British stock to buy in early March. This small-cap also has shown a habit of beating expectations in recent months. For this reason — and also partly because I already own fellow brickmaker Ibstock in my ISA — I’m excited to see what its full-year results will show on Tuesday, March 9.
Back in January Forterra bumped up its full-year guidance again as strong trading conditions beginning in early autumn continued into November and December. Demand for the UK share’s building products suffered earlier in 2020 as Covid-19 caused construction sites to shut down. But the recovery since lockdowns were eased illustrates how strong underlying demand for bricks are. I expect sales of Forterra’s products to remain strong, too, as building rates ratchet up to combat Britain’s housing crunch.
I think Forterra is a very-attractive buy right now. But it still faces significant risks in the short-to-medium term. As it mentioned last month, changes to the Help to Buy purchase incentive scheme might damage homebuyer demand going forwards and by extension sales of its bricks. The planned termination of the Stamp Duty holiday next month could dent the housing market as well. Even if it’s extended for a few months as rumoured, it will eventually end, so a reckoning for the sector could still come this year.
Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of Flutter Entertainment. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Hargreaves Lansdown. 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.