Deciding where to invest any sum of money may seem challenging at the present time. The FTSE 100 has risen to record highs in recent months and many investors may feel there is a lack of value on offer via mid and large-cap shares.
However, as is the case in any market conditions, there are still some stocks that could offer wide margins of safety. Here are two companies which could be worth buying today for the long term.
Reporting on Thursday was primary care property investor and developer Assura (LSE: AGR). The company reported a solid third-quarter performance, with it completing the acquisition of 22 medical centres and one development under a forward funding agreement at a combined cost of £84m. This has helped to drive the company’s rent roll to £87.4m on an annualised basis. And with £310m in capital raised in December, the company’s financial position appears to be improving.
Looking ahead, the company continues to see a positive market outlook. Demand for modern buildings is set to remain robust in future years, with the autumn budget recently setting out £10bn to invest in making NHS buildings fit for the future.
With a dividend yield of 4.1%, Assura appears to have a solid income outlook. Its bottom line is due to rise by 6% this year and 8% next year, which suggests that it could deliver further improvements to dividend payments. As such, now could be the perfect time to buy it for the long term, with a resilient and stable business model potentially providing diversification during the current bull market.
Also offering the potential for impressive income returns is utility company SSE (LSE: SSE). The company reported this week that it continues to offer dividend growth which will match RPI inflation in both the current financial year and next year. This means that its 7.3% dividend yield could become even more enticing over the medium term. With inflation currently less than half that level, the company’s income prospects remain exceptionally attractive.
Of course, SSE faces an uncertain future. It is currently in the process of spinning-off its domestic energy supply business in a combination with Npower. This is expected to complete in the next year and it could create a stronger entity with greater resources. It may also allow SSE to become a more focused and innovative business which is better able to deliver rising dividends in future.
Clearly, the utility sector is highly unpopular among investors at the moment. Political risk remains at possibly its highest level in over a decade, and this could mean regulatory changes are ahead in the coming years. But with such a high dividend yield, the potential for inflation-matching dividend growth and an evolving business model, SSE may offer high total return potential for the long run. As such, it could be worth buying today.
Peter Stephens owns shares in SSE. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. 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.