5 FTSE 100 Bargains: British American Tobacco plc, United Utilities Group PLC, BHP Billiton plc, Prudential plc And Royal Bank Of Scotland Group plc

British American Tobacco

Although British American Tobacco’s (LSE: BATS) price to earnings (P/E) ratio of 16.8 may look rather unappealing, a glance at the company’s track record of earnings growth makes it seem like a bargain.

For example, it has been able to increase its bottom line in each of the last four years, with it averaging growth of 9% per annum. And, while the prospects for the UK economy are positive, uncertainty remains and the situation in the Eurozone remains somewhat precarious.

Therefore, stocks such as British American Tobacco that have reliable and consistent earnings growth could become more in demand and be seen as well-worth buying at their current price levels.

United Utilities

Even though there is a concern that higher interest costs could lie ahead for utility companies, United Utilities (LSE: UU) remains a great buy at the present time. For example, it currently yields 4.2%, which is considerably higher than the FTSE 100’s yield of around 3.3% and indicates that United Utilities could be good value on a relative basis right now.

Furthermore, with the markets still being somewhat uncertain, United Utilities’ low beta of 0.7 and defensive characteristics could prove useful, with it offering a less volatile shareholder experience than the wider index. This, plus its reasonable value and great income prospects, make United Utilities an appealing stock.

BHP Billiton

With its yield currently standing at 5.3%, BHP Billiton (LSE: BLT) also seems to be something of a bargain at the present time. Although its profitability is somewhat volatile as a result of weak commodity prices, it still seems to come with a very wide margin of safety that should protect investors, to a degree, from further falls in the price of iron ore, oil and other commodities.

And, looking ahead, BHP is expected to increase dividends per share by an impressive 7.7% next year and, at its current share price, this puts it on a yield of 5.7%. This is very high on a relative and absolute basis and could push BHP’s share price higher over the medium term as investors seek out enticing income plays.


Although 2014 was something of a disappointing year for Prudential (LSE: PRU), with its bottom line forecast to have grown by just 5%, that rate of growth is still in-line with the wider market. And, looking ahead, Prudential is expected to increase its earnings by 14% in the current year and by a further 11% next year, both of which are well ahead of the FTSE 100’s forecast growth rate.

Despite this, Prudential still trades on a lower P/E ratio than the wider index, with it having a P/E ratio of 14.9 versus 15.9 for the FTSE 100. So, with a lower rating and higher earnings growth prospects, Prudential seems to be a great buy at the present time.


Even though many savers are hoping for higher interest rates, it could take many years for them to reach even 3%, never mind the historic norm of 4-5%. As such, the banking sector could continue to benefit from fewer bad loans and buoyant demand for new loans and, therefore, it could be a good time to buy a slice of one of the best bargains in the sector: RBS (LSE: RBS).

Evidence of its great value can be seen in the fact that RBS trades on a P/E ratio of just 10.1, which is considerably lower than the FTSE 100’s P/E ratio of 15.9. This shows that there is upward rerating potential ahead for the part-nationalised bank and, with a tailwind from a continued loose monetary policy behind it, now could be a great time to buy a slice of RBS.

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Peter Stephens owns shares of BHP Billiton, Royal Bank of Scotland Group, British American Tobacco and United Utilities Group. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.