The Bitcoin price has fallen by more than 40% in one month. That’s a bigger loss than we’ve seen with the FTSE 250 index, which is down by 27% at the time of writing.
Unlike Bitcoin, good quality stocks generate earnings that support their valuation. I think stocks could provide some of the best opportunities for investors to profit from the market crash. Today I want to tell you about three FTSE 250 stocks I believe could double from current levels.
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Newsagent WH Smith (LSE: SMWH) was founded in 1792, making this FTSE 250 firm one of the UK’s oldest listed businesses. However, this impressive longevity hasn’t stopped the WH Smith share price falling by 50% from the all-time highs seen in January.
Investors’ are worried that sales at the group’s travel division — including airports — will collapse.
WH Smith confirmed these fears with a warning on Thursday that the company is seeing a significant drop in passenger numbers in the US and Europe. Together, these regions account for 85% of the group’s travel sales. This is expected to lead to a 20%-25% fall in pre-tax profit, compared to last year.
I suspect the eventual impact will be worse than this. But I’ve long admired WH Smith as a high quality business that generates strong shareholder returns. The shares look historically cheap to me at current levels. I think they could double over the next few years.
Is this 14% yield for real?
FTSE 250 oil and gas sector service provider Petrofac (LSE: PFC) faces two very serious problems. The first is this week’s oil price crash. This could lead to a downturn in new orders and put further pressure on profit margins.
The second problem is that the company is under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office. This has been ongoing since 2017 and has not yet resulted in the company or any current employees being charged. But it’s not over yet.
CEO and 19% shareholder Ayman Asfari remains in charge of Petrofac and has made sure that the company is generating cash and is largely debt-free.
But Petrofac’s falling share price has left the stock trading on just four times forecast earnings, with a dividend yield of 14%.
There are obviously some serious risks here. But the shares are starting to look cheap to me compared to more heavily-indebted rivals. If the SFO investigation can be settled, I think Petrofac stock could be worth upwards of 300p.
This travel stock could bounce back
I’m avoiding airlines at the moment. But I do think there are some opportunities in the travel sector. One company I rate highly is catering firm SSP Group (LSE: SSPG), whose shares price has halved so far this year.
This FTSE 250 firm operates more than 2,800 food units in airports and railway stations around the world. SSP runs franchised outlets for brands such as Burger King, Starbucks and Jamie’s Deli, but the group also has its own brands — you may be familiar with Upper Crust and Ritazza, for example.
Profits rose by 12% last year and the company generated a return on capital employed of 20%. I see these as impressive figures in difficult conditions.
SSP has been in business for 50 years. I’m pretty confident it will recover after the coronavirus outbreak. I’d be a buyer here, for a long-term portfolio.
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Roland Head has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of SSP Group. The Motley Fool UK has recommended WH Smith. 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.