Investors have been dumping blue-chip stocks indiscriminately over the past two weeks as the coronavirus outbreak has spread around the world. Very few companies have escaped the market sell-off.
This has thrown up some fantastic bargains for long-term investors, who’re willing to look past the market’s near-term uncertainty.
With that in mind, here are three FTSE 100 stocks that could be attractive investments at current levels.
Shares in commodities trading giant Glencore (LSE: GLEN) have fallen around 20% since the beginning of February. The stock is off nearly 40% over the past 12 months.
While there’s no doubt the virus outbreak will hit global economic growth, which will hurt demand for commodities, this slowdown is unlikely to unseat Glencore from its position as the world’s largest commodities trader.
If anything, the slowdown could reinforce the group’s hold over the market. If smaller producers start to go out of business, Glencore can step in to fill the gap.
Commodities trading is all about scale and diversification because profit margins tend to be quite thin. Only the biggest can survive over the long run in this market.
As such, now could be a great time to buy this global champion at a discount valuation. It’s currently dealing at a price-to-earnings (P/E) multiple of 12 and supports a dividend yield of 7.2%.
Engineering group Melrose (LSE: MRO) has also recently been sold off on virus concerns. The stock has slumped by more than 15% since mid-February.
Once again, it’s highly likely the outbreak will hurt Melrose in the short term, but demand for the group’s aerospace and automotive experience should remain robust over the long run.
Melrose is also growing its presence in the data centre market, a booming industry. Its Nortek Air Management business is a leading producer of technology that’s designed to reduce energy and water consumption in data centres.
Management is currently planning the disposal of this division. A deal would unlock cash to reduce debt as well as funding an exceptional dividend to investors.
After recent declines, investors can snap up a share in this engineering group that as a phenomenal track record of creating value for investors for just 14 times forward earnings. A dividend yield of 2.7% is also on offer.
Smiths Group (LSE: SMIN) is one of the world’s largest suppliers of medical and security equipment.
This is yet another business that might see reduced demand in the short term, but has bright long-term prospects.
The last time I covered the stock in December 2019, I concluded that Smiths’ collection of businesses makes it the perfect investment to buy and forget for the next 20 years.
I continue to believe this is the case. The one thing that’s changed since my last article is the stock’s valuation. Today, it’s dealing at a P/E of 16.9, compared to 18 in December 2019.
Analysts have also increased their growth forecasts for the business over the past few months. The City is now expecting earnings per share of 92.5p for 2020, up from 90p in December. This implies investors who buy the stock today will get a much better deal than they would have done just three months ago.
On top of Smiths’ growth potential, there’s also a 3% dividend yield on offer.
It’s official: global stock markets have been on a tear for more than a decade, making this the longest bull market in history.
But this seemingly unstoppable run of success poses an uncomfortable question for investors: when will the current bull market finally run out of steam?
Opinions are split about whether we’re about to see a pullback — or even a bear market — in 2020. But one thing is crystal clear: right now there’s plenty of uncertainty and bad news out there!
It’s not just the threat posed by the coronavirus outbreak that could cause disruption — Trump’s ongoing trade-war with China and the UK’s Brexit trade negotiations with the EU rumble on... and then there’s the potential threat of both the German and Japanese economies entering recession...
It all adds up to a nasty cocktail with the potential to wreak havoc and send your portfolio into a tailspin.
Of course, nobody likes to see the value of their portfolio fall, but fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone. Download a FREE copy of our Bear Market Survival Guide today and discover the five steps we believe any investor can take right now to prepare for a downturn… including how you could potentially turn today’s market uncertainty to your advantage!
Rupert Hargreaves owns no share mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of Melrose. 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.