The FTSE 100’s near-term outlook continues to be highly uncertain. The economic impact of coronavirus is impossible to quantify at present. Investor sentiment could weaken before it improves.
This could cause paper losses for many investors in the coming weeks and months. But it may also present buying opportunities for the long term. Many FTSE 100 stocks currently trade on low valuations and may offer recovery potential.
Here are two prime examples of stocks facing challenging near-term outlooks. They could offer high total returns in the coming years.
The near-term prospects for real estate investment trust (REIT) British Land (LSE: BLND) are relatively downbeat. It recently announced it will defer the rents of some of its customers to help them through the coronavirus outbreak. This is expected to cause a decline in the company’s financial performance in the current year.
British Land has also suspended its dividend payments until it has greater clarity regarding its financial outlook. And, with the UK economy experiencing a lockdown, it would be unsurprising for the value of its various retail, office and leisure units to come under pressure in the coming months.
As such, buying the stock today could lead to paper losses for investors in the short run. However, in the long term, it could have recovery potential. It has a modest loan-to-value (LTV) figure of 31%, while it doesn’t require any refinancing until 2024.
With the stock currently trading at a similar level to where it did during the financial crisis, it appears to offer a wide margin of safety. For long-term investors, it may provide recovery potential in the coming years – just as it did following the financial crisis when it more than doubled within five years.
Another FTSE 100 share that appears to offer a wide margin of safety is Aviva (LSE: AV). The insurance company’s shares have fallen by over 40% since the start of the year. They now trade at their lowest level since 2009. This suggests they are currently trading below their intrinsic value, and could offer long-term recovery potential.
A recent update from the business highlighted its financial strength. It has a solvency ratio of 175% after payment of its recent dividend, which suggests it’s well capitalised. Although the financial impact of coronavirus is a known unknown, Aviva seems to be relatively well-placed to overcome its short-term challenges.
As such, for investors who are able to look beyond the near-term risks facing the company, now could be the right time to buy a slice of the business. It may experience further declines in its price should news regarding coronavirus deteriorate. But, as its past recoveries from previous economic difficulties have shown, it could provide impressive total returns in the long run.
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Peter Stephens owns shares of Aviva and British Land Co. The Motley Fool UK has recommended British Land Co. 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.