On Monday, a global stock market rally helped ease the FTSE 100 index back over the 6,000 mark. It was a strong start to the week for UK stocks, which have had a turbulent ride thus far.
Within the index, many stocks are trading well below average historic valuations, indicating many could be bargain buys. By contrast, others have turned in an impressive performance, despite the widespread fall in share prices.
One of the best UK shares out there
Speaking of which, multinational consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser (LSE: RB) has seen a bumper performance over recent weeks. Despite the company’s share price falling by 20% in the depths of the sell-off in equities, it has since sky-rocketed upwards by 37%.
I think it’s clear to see why. Reckitt Benckiser is a leading global consumer health and hygiene company. The group has operations in over 60 countries and owns an array of well-established brands. These range from Nurofen and Gaviscon to Dettol and Vanish, to name a few.
The company’s products have been in high demand as a result of the pandemic. In fact, its onset has led the group to a far better year than previously expected. First-quarter net revenue was 13.3% higher than the same period last year, rising to £3.5bn. Ultimately, Reckitt’s portfolio of brands has ensured that even in the current environment, sales remain resilient.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, sales growth had been sluggish and stubbornly low. As a result, the consumer goods company had intended to launch a new strategy this year, aimed at trying to uncover a way to deliver sustainable revenue and profit growth. It would seem that the onset of the global pandemic has enabled the group to deliver just that. But can this be replicated over the long term?
Looking ahead, it’s difficult to tell whether Reckitt will be able to carry forward this momentum in a post-pandemic world. At the moment, the group has admitted that it remains unclear whether bumper sales should be attributed mainly to stockpiling or simply an underlying rise in demand.
Either way, I think it’s clear that an increased awareness of the need for good hygiene can be expected once the virus is defeated or contained. In light of this, Reckitt is well positioned to capitalise on the health trend.
It’s worth noting that buy-and-hold investments in trusted consumer brands make up an essential element of investing genius Warren Buffett’s philosophy. In my eyes, the maker of the robust and sturdy selection of household goods won’t be going away any time soon. As such, buying Reckitt shares today, and holding them for at least five years, could deliver attractive returns over the long term.
A word of caution though, the shares don’t come cheap. The group’s price-to-earnings ratio of 20 sits above the average for the FTSE 100 index, which is approximately 15. That said, if strong earnings growth can continue, this figure will be more than justified in my view.
In light of impressive financial results, bright future prospects and a bumper performance amidst wider market turmoil, I rate Reckitt Benckiser as one of the best UK shares to buy right now.
Matthew Dumigan has no position in any of the shares mentioned. 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.