I have previously looked at two shares from the FTSE 250 that would make good additions to an investor’s ISA and with tomorrow being the deadline for adding money for the 2018/19 financial year, here are two shares from the FTSE 100 I would recommend adding.
A business in transition
Prudential (LSE: PRU) is undergoing a period of change as it de-merges, so from that point of view you might think that there is a risk in investing in the shares right now. However, I am of the opinion that actually, this is a business that has plenty of potential. How so? I think splitting up the business into one higher-growth, Asia-focused life insurer and another Europe and UK-focused firm that is both a life insurer and an asset manager is a good move. The businesses are complementary as they reduce risk by giving the company access to more markets and opportunities for growth.
What investors get
Investors will end up with shares in both companies once the demerger has taken place, although that is unlikely to be any time soon as no timeline has even been laid out. In the meantime, however, investors will be able to buy into a business that is expanding fast in Asia and also doing very well in its mature markets. For the former, in the last full-year results, operating profits rose 14% to £2.2bn, while the UK and Europe saw operating profits rising 19% to £1.6bn.
Rising sales at this pharma giant
Similar to Prudential, the performance of GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) shares has not given investors too many opportunities to jump for joy. This is a little surprising to me as the business is on a path towards greater growth in the future and the last full-year results offered reasons to be optimistic with sales and profits both up.
Crucially though, what the company is doing is focusing on rebuilding its drug pipeline. Yes the consumer business is important, but fundamentally a pharma company needs to be selling medicines protected by patents. On that front, good progress is being made with 13 drugs currently going through trials at phase III, which is a late stage of development.
Better than its rival?
FTSE 100 peer AstraZeneca has provided far greater returns for investors but is actually in a similar position in terms of trying to rebuild a drug pipeline so I think the disparity in valuation means Glaxo is the better choice between the two. It has a dividend yield of around 5% (versus Astra’s 3.4%) and has a PE of about 13, while Astra’s is comfortably above 20.
So, although Prudential and Glaxo might be two shares that are not the most obvious choices for an ISA when you look at their performances in the relatively recent past, making good investments is about looking at future potential. It’s on that basis that I think it’s worth adding the shares before their prices start to rise again.
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Andy Ross owns shares in Legal & General. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of and has recommended GlaxoSmithKline. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Prudential. 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.