The Motley Fool

ITV plc isn’t the only FTSE 100 stock I’d consider buying on recent weakness

Image source: Getty Images.

To say that the last couple of years have been disappointing for investors in broadcaster ITV (LSE: ITV) is something of an understatement. Before this morning, the company’s valuation had already fallen 35% since the heady days of 265p, achieved at the end of 2015. Nevertheless, I remain positive on the business. Here’s why.

Compelling valuation

First, the good news. Total external revenue rose 2% to £3.13bn with a significant contribution from the company’s Studios division (to the tune of £1.58bn). The Broadcast business also “remains robust” with ITV’s share of the total viewing audience growing 2% over 2017. Unsurprisingly, online viewing figures also continue to show serious momentum, climbing 39% on the previous year. 

5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!

According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…

And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential...

As expected however, the company saw a reduction in advertising revenue from its family of channels as a result of the “uncertain economic environment“. The figure of £1.59bn announced this morning represented a 5% decline on that achieved in 2016, contributing to a 5% fall in overall pre-tax profit to £800m.

New CEO Carolyn McCall was upbeat. Overseeing her first set of results, the former easyJet boss stated there could be “no doubt” that the company’s performance over the last year had been strong given the challenging environment in which it was operating. She went on to remark that the £7bn cap had experienced a “great start” to 2018 with 60% of expected revenue from ITV Studios already booked thanks to strong demand for dramas in the UK and US. Perhaps most importantly, advertising revenue is expected to be positive in H1 thanks in part to the forthcoming FIFA World Cup.  

Notwithstanding the market’s negative reaction to the numbers released this morning, I remain bullish on ITV. Given the consistently decent returns achieved on the money it invests, its shares continue to look attractively valued at just 11 times predicted earnings for the 2018 financial year. The balance sheet looks solid and, while the company confirmed there would be no special dividend for 2017, investors are unlikely to complain about today’s 8% hike to the full-year payout. Indeed, dividends look a lot safer here than they do elsewhere in the FTSE 100.

Strong growth

ITV isn’t the only company in the market’s top tier that could be worth picking up right now. While the last year has undeniably been kinder to holders of stock in cruise operator Carnival (LSE: CCL), its shares have also experienced some weakness, falling roughly 10% since last summer.

Despite this, the future looks very positive. Only yesterday, the largest leisure travel company in the world announced that it had ordered a third ship for its AIDA brand in Germany — the fastest growing cruise market in Europe.  The 180,000-ton, liquefied natural gas-powered beast will be ready to sail in 2023 and forms part of the company’s strategy to enhance its fleet to capitalise on the strong growth in demand for cruising holidays seen over recent years.  

Even if the sheer size of the company means that the price of its stock is unlikely to soar, its shares remain a solid buy for the long term in my view, particularly given the enduring popularity of cruises among retirees. The company continues to buy back its shares, and its dividends, while not as substantial as those offered by ITV, are fully covered by earnings and likely to be hiked by a double-digit percentage again this year.

“This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997”

I'm sure you'll agree that's quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.

But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.

What's more, we firmly believe there's still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.

And right now, we're giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool.

Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge!

Paul Summers has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Carnival and ITV. 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.

Our 6 'Best Buys Now' Shares

The renowned analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.

So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we're offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our 'no quibbles' 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee.

Simply enter your email address below to discover how you can take advantage of this.

I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement.