With the FTSE 100 trading close to a record high, many investors may feel that now is not the time to buy any shares. After all, they may argue that there are unlikely to be wide margins of safety on offer at the present time.
However, the reality is that there are a number of cheap stocks available right now. Housebuilder Barratt (LSE: BDEV) is one such company, with its growth potential apparently not being fully factored into its valuation. And with another smaller growth stock reporting positive results on Monday, there could be opportunities for investors to outperform the FTSE 100.
In the last five years, Barratt has delivered positive earnings growth in every year. It has been able to improve the quality of its balance sheet, pay increasing dividends and develop a large land bank which should provide growth for many years to come. However, investors continue to view the stock negatively, with it having a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of around 9 at the present time.
The reason for this could be a general slowdown in the UK housing market. House prices have come under pressure in recent months in various parts of the UK. However, the fact is that housebuilders are not being severely affected so far. Demand for new homes is being buoyed by low interest rates and the Help to Buy scheme – both of which are expected to remain in place over the medium term.
As such, with Barratt due to report a 5% rise in earnings in the current financial year, it could offer a wide margin of safety. Although its shares could experience a period of uncertainty during the Brexit process, they are dirt cheap and may deliver far stronger performance than the FTSE 100.
Growth at a reasonable price
Also offering a relatively low valuation is bakery manufacturer Finsbury Food (LSE: FIF). The company reported a trading update on Monday for the year to 30 June 2018 which showed that sales revenue moved 2.4% higher on a like-for-like (LFL) basis. It stood at £290.2m for the full year, with profits set to be in line with market expectations.
This was a strong performance in what has been a tough environment. Inflationary pressure has remained high, but the company’s investment in prior periods has helped it to offset this to some degree. It anticipates that the UK economic environment will remain challenging. However, with a robust balance sheet and further efficiencies set to be made, it seems to be in a strong position to deliver growth.
Looking ahead to the current financial year, Finsbury Food is forecast to post a rise in earnings of 9%. With its shares trading on a price-to-earnings growth (PEG) ratio of 1.3, it seems to offer good value for money. As such, now could be the perfect time to buy them for the long term.
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Peter Stephens owns shares of Barratt Developments. 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.