In the depths of the stock market crash, the FTSE 100 index tumbled by 32%. Fears about the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus were enough to spark a major sell-off in global equities. Since then, however, investor sentiment has improved, and the index has recovered 26% of its value. But that certainly doesn’t mean there aren’t still buying opportunities for savvy investors to capitalise on. With that in mind, here are two FTSE 100 companies that I think are among the best UK shares to buy today, if you’re looking to build wealth over the long term.
As the third-largest retailer in the world, measured by gross revenues, Tesco (LSE: TSCO) is a titan of the supermarket industry. What’s more, the defensive nature of the company means that earnings should remain relatively stable regardless of the wider macroeconomic environment. We’ve seen this in practise over recent months as a result of the outbreak of Covid-19.
In the UK and Ireland, underlying sales rose 0.2%, with like-for-like sales growing by the same amount. That said, the current uncertainty means that Tesco is unable to give guidance for next year. Although the company expects that if trading returns to normal by August, the extra costs incurred will be offset by increased sales and the government’s business rate relief.
More positive news for investors came on Thursday when the company announced the sale of its Polish business. Over recent years, the supermarket has gradually been retrenching from its international operations due to various market challenges. Offloading the business in Poland will be a huge relief for the company as in the last financial year, these stores generated a loss before tax of £107m.
UK housebuilders have been hit hard by the market crash and Taylor Wimpey (LSE:TW) is no exception. The company’s share price is down by around 36% despite many other stocks listed in the index making a strong recovery. The fortunes of housebuilders are very much tied to the recovery of the economy. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that investor sentiment towards the company is poor.
However, I’m excited by the news that emerged on Thursday. The company announced that it has successfully raised £522m by issuing new shares equal to 11% of its market capitalisation. Management at the firm believe the pandemic has revealed an opportunity to buy cheap land. Consequently, the extra capital will allow the company to take advantage of this.
With the firm already in the midst of a phased return to operations, I think things are beginning to look up for Taylor Wimpey. What’s more, the long-term outlook for the property market in the UK remains favourable in my eyes. There’s still a major housing shortage to be addressed and interest rates are at historic lows, meaning mortgages are cheap. This provides fertile ground for the housebuilder to continue growing its earnings, which should reward investors in the process.
The best UK shares to buy today?
Considering both of these firms are at the top of their respective industries and bring the possibility of both income and capital growth over the long term, neither appear overvalued to me. Tesco has a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 12, while Taylor Wimpey’s is a only 7. As such, these companies could truly be among the FTSE 100’s best UK shares to buy now.
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Matthew Dumigan has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Tesco. 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.