The FTSE 100’s recent market crash could cause investors to favour stocks that offer defensive characteristics. A weak economic outlook and the potential for a second wave of coronavirus could allow companies with relatively robust business models to deliver resilient share price performances.
As such, buying these two stocks with £2k, or any other amount, in an ISA today could be a shrewd move. They appear to offer good value for money. They could also outperform the wider FTSE 100 during what may prove to be a volatile period for the stock market.
FTSE 100 gold and silver producer Fresnillo (LSE: FRES) has recorded a 16% share price rise since the start of the year. The precious metals sector has become increasingly popular among investors. The gold price has surged close to record highs and the price of silver has also moved significantly higher over recent months.
Looking ahead, Fresnillo could experience rising profitability due to the prospects for precious metals prices over the coming months. Historically, they’ve provided a store of wealth during turbulent economic periods. With the world economy likely to experience a period of weaker growth and lower interest rates, precious metals prices could make gains in the near term.
With Fresnillo investing heavily in its pipeline and infrastructure, it appears to have a sound strategy after what has been a challenging couple of years regarding production levels. Its share price has risen so far in 2020. But it still trades on a price-to-earnings growth (PEG) ratio of just 0.4 as a result of its buoyant earnings prospects.
As such, now could be the right time to buy a slice of it for the long term, having the potential to outperform many of its FTSE 100 index peers.
FTSE 100 utility company Pennon
Another FTSE 100 share that could offer improving total return prospects in a challenging economic period is Pennon (LSE: PNN). The water utility company’s recent annual results highlighted its robust business model. It showed its financial performance for the year is in line with previous guidance.
The company has a solid balance sheet, with £1.6bn in funding and liquidity prior to the receipt of cash from its Viridor sale. This is likely to mean it has the financial strength to overcome expected credit losses in the coming months. It faces rising customer debt as a weak economic outlook and higher unemployment are likely to occur.
With a dividend yield of 3.8%, Pennon appears to offer an attractive income return. By contrast, many of its FTSE 100 index peers are delaying or even cancelling their shareholder payouts.
Its resilient income potential could make it a more popular stock when low interest rates inhibit the opportunities available to income investors. This could help to push its share price higher.
As such, its total return potential appears to be relatively attractive over the long term.
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Peter Stephens owns shares of Fresnillo. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Fresnillo and Pennon Group. 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.