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Should you buy Tesco plc, Lloyds Banking Group plc and GlaxoSmithKline plc?

These three stocks are heavyweights of the FTSE 100 index. Today I’m investigating if any are worth buying in the current economic environment. 

Recovering supermarket

Tesco  (LSE: TSCO) released very encouraging first quarter trading results yesterday. Group like for like sales grew by 0.9% and it was the second quarter in a row that like-for-like sales grew. Believe it or not, this was the first time Tesco has seen two consecutive quarters of growth for over five years. The international division grew sales by 3.7%, which is also encouraging and should drive revenue higher this year. The company has also divested a number of assets this year such as the Giraffe chain and Dobbies Garden Centres.

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This is all part of the recovery plan and should allow the company to refocus on the core parts of the business. Tesco has also created new fresh food brands that seems to be looking really promising. CEO Dave Lewis commented on the brands stating that: “Our new fresh food brands are performing very well, with over two-thirds of our customers having bought products from the new range.”

Private investor favourite

Shares of Lloyds Banking Group  (LSE: LLOY) haven’t been performing very well and are down 34% over the last year. The bank has been performing well and is forecast to pay a 6% dividend yield this year rising to 7% in 2017. The shares look quite cheap too and trade on a forward price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) of just 8.2. Many city analysts believe the shares are undervalued too and a few even have price targets above 95p. That’s a whopping 60% higher than the price you can buy shares for today. For such a big company that pays a chunky dividend it’s an attractive proposition. 

After today’s huge news that the UK will be leaving the EU, Lloyds shares have been hammered. While the company looks like an attractive proposition it may be sensible to sit on the sidelines. There’s so much uncertainty within the UK banking sector that the shares could easily fall further. 

Pharma giant

GlaxoSmithKline  (LSE: GSK) is another private investor favourite. It’s another high yielding share as it carries a 5.5% dividend yield covered 1.3 times by cash. Glaxo has had a tough time of late as blockbuster drugs finish patents, which has caused cash flow to decrease. The company has moved to offset this and now has an exciting pipeline of new drugs and treatments set to hit the market in the next few years. This should mean cash flow from sales is boosted higher and the company returns to making consistent profits. 

This new pipeline of drugs opens the door to dividend hikes in the future. The stock already yields over 5% and I think it could be a great addition to any income portfolio. The company currently carries a P/E ratio far lower than main rival AstraZeneca  (LSE: AZN) and I believe it’s probably the best pharma play in London. 

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