Berkeley Group Holdings PLC, Anglo American plc And Admiral Group plc Are Still Strong Buys Despite Uncertainties

House builder Berkeley (LSE: BKG) today released an upbeat interim management statement that should provide its investors with confidence in its future outlook. In fact, Berkeley said the London housing market has remained stable in recent months, with the company seeing good underlying demand for its properties.

Cash due on forward sales remains in excess of £3bn. And although its reservations are around 4% lower than the previous year due to a change in product mix as well as the strength of forward sales in recent years, it’s on course to deliver £2bn of pre-tax profit over the three years to 2018.

Clearly, the near-term outlook for the property market is uncertain. A Brexit could hurt the appeal of London property to foreign investors, while the increased taxes on prime property are also likely to dampen demand in future. Despite this, Berkeley continues to offer excellent total return prospects in the long run and with its shares trading on a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of just 12.5, it indicates that there’s substantial upward rerating potential.

Streamlining for growth

Also offering upbeat total return potential, despite uncertainty, is Anglo American (LSE: AAL). Clearly, the major risk it faces is falling commodity prices and while they can’t be ruled out in future, Anglo American appears to be doing all the right things to position its business for long-term growth. For example, it has streamlined its operations, made asset disposals and is seeking to reduce costs so as to become more competitive versus its peers.

While this may not lead to soaring profitability in the short run, Anglo American seems likely to come through the current commodity crisis in a stronger position relative to a number of its peers. And with its shares trading on a forward P/E ratio of 13.6, it appears to offer a sufficiently wide economic moat to take into account the risks it faces. Certainly, its shares are likely to be highly volatile, but they could post index-beating gains over the medium-to-long term.

Uncertainty ahead

Insurer Admiral Group (LSE: ADM) also faces uncertainty, with a rise in insurance premium tax causing investor sentiment in the wider insurance sector to come under a degree of pressure. And with the company’s bottom line forecast to fall by 1% in the current year, it wouldn’t be a major surprise if, in the short run at least, Admiral failed to repeat the share price gains of 25% that have been achieved over the last year.

In addition, Admiral’s longstanding CEO is stepping down this year and with him having led the company since its creation in 1991, this brings further uncertainty. However, with the company having a strong business model, an experienced and capable wider management team and a dividend yield of 5.6% (including specials), it seems likely to deliver excellent returns in the long run.

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Peter Stephens owns shares of Admiral Group, Anglo American, and Berkeley Group Holdings. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Berkeley Group Holdings. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.