Why Now Is A Great Time To Buy HSBC Holdings plc, NEXT plc & Unilever plc!

Today I am looking at three FTSE greats trading at dirt-cheap prices.

Bank poised to bounce

It comes as little surprise that HSBC (LSE: HSBA) has seen its share price tank 21% since the turn of the year. A combination of emerging market-related fears, concerns over the bank’s exposure to the commodity and housing markets, the prospect of sustained low interest rates, and escalating PPI bills are all pushing investor appetite through the floor.

It may seem crazy given this long-list of problems, but I believe this weakness could represent a great time for long-term investors to pile into the embattled bank. Sure, HSBC may be expected to record a 4% earnings dip in 2016 as revenues cool, but this still leaves the business dealing on a brilliant P/E rating of 10.2 times.

And dividend seekers will no doubt greet forecasts of a 51-US-cent-per-share dividend with some fanfare, this figure creating a market-busting 6.4% yield.

While near-term macroeconomic bumpiness may create some bottom-line turbulence, I believe HSBC’s ongoing cost-cutting programme should help the bank ride out the current storm — Reuters reported this week that HSBC plans to keep its current hiring freeze in place — and create a leaner, more efficient earnings generator for the coming years.

On top of this, I believe the bank’s strong Asia-Pacific bias should deliver blockbuster revenues growth looking ahead as rising wealth levels drive banking product demand to the stars.

Retailer set to rise

Clothing giant NEXT (LSE: NXT) has seen its stock price hold up much better than embattled HSBC, although a 9% slump since the turn of the year is hardly anything to crow about.

Fears that further cooling in the British economy could derail consumer spending power has weighed across much of the retail sector, but I believe these concerns are greatly overplayed. Indeed, data from the British Retail Consortium this week showed shopper demand hop 3.3% higher in January, fuelled by bubbly demand for big-ticket items.

I believe a wider backcloth of falling unemployment, rising wage packets and low inflation should keep sales at NEXT rattling comfortably higher, both in-store and in cyberspace. But even if economic conditions become tougher, I reckon the retailer’s strong brand power should allow it to keep punching solid sales growth.

Recent share weakness leaves NEXT dealing on a reasonable P/E rating of 16.9 times for the year to January 2017, thanks to an expected 8% earnings rise. But it is in the dividend arena where the retailer really sets itself apart, with a projected dividend of 417p per share — yielding a terrific 5.3% — making it an irresistible retail pick, in my opinion.

Irresistible brand power

Household goods giant Unilever (LSE: ULVR) has not been struck by the same waves of panic selling hitting the rest of the FTSE 100, but gains made since the start of 2016 have now been erased and the stock is now dealing 1% lower than on 1 January 

I believe this weakness should be attracting bargain hunters despite fears of economic deceleration in developing regions — Unilever sources around 60% of total turnover from such territories.

Thanks to the terrific brand power of products like Dove soap, Hellmann’s mayonnaise and Comfort fabric conditioner, Unilever can keep lifting prices regardless of wider economic pressures. And the London business is “further strengthening [its] innovation funnel while shortening innovation cycle times” to keep sales of these key labels moving higher.

The City expects Unilever to keep its robust earnings momentum rolling with a 2% earnings advance in 2016, leaving the business dealing on a slightly-elevated P/E rating of 20.1 times. Still, I believe the firm’s defensive qualities fully merit a premium in the current climate.

Furthermore, a forecast 120 euro-cent per share dividend for the year creates a chunky 3.3% yield, which helps take the edge off a little further.

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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of  Unilever and has recommended HSBC. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.