The Covid-19 crisis has torn a hole in the profits outlooks of a great many FTSE 250 shares. And investors don’t just need to be worried by the short-term economic impact of the worldwide lockdown. A looming economic recession, allied with changing consumer and business trends in the wake of the pandemic, cast a shadow over firms’ likely earnings power over the next decade (and possibly beyond).
This is no reason for stock investors to pull the plug, though. The profits pictures for office space providers, oil producers, and banks have worsened, to give just a few examples. But there remains a huge number of other FTSE 250 stocks that remain on course to deliver gigantic profits to their shareholders in the years ahead.
A bargain with buckets of potential
One such share I still like the look of is B&M European Value Retail (LSE: BME). Sellers of low-cost goods like this thrive in recessionary environments as shoppers try to stretch their household budgets further and further. This particular FTSE 250 carries an extra layer of protection, too. Many of the items it sells, like food and cleaning and hygiene products, are essential goods that can thus be deemed ‘recession-proof.’
There are other reasons to be excited over B&M’s earnings outlook, though. Through its ongoing expansion scheme it’ll be increasingly well-placed to capitalise on this changing retail environment as well. The company is planning to open another 30 stores in the current financial year (to March 2021) alone as part of its drive to eventually reach 950 stores.
At current prices of 400p per share, B&M trades on a forward price-to-earnings growth (PEG) of 0.5. It’s a figure that sits well below the bargain threshold of 1 and below. And it underlines my belief that this is a brilliant FTSE 250 stock to load up on today. Annual profits here are tipped to surge 30% alone, according to analysts. There’s likely plenty more where that came from, too.
Another dirt-cheap FTSE 250 star I’d buy today
Plus500 Ltd (LSE: PLUS) is another white-hot stock that’s far too cheap at current prices. At £12.60 per share the trading giant trades on a rock-bottom forward price-to-earnings (or P/E) multiple of 6 times. Investors can also gain access to a chunky 8% dividend yield at this moment.
The FTSE 250 business provides a trading platform for financial instruments like contracts for difference. And it has enjoyed a huge profits upswing in recent months thanks to the eye-popping volatility witnessed across financial markets.
Can Plus500 continue to thrive, though? Well serious social, macroeconomic, and geopolitical issues – the Covid-19 crisis and its fallout, rising trade tensions between the US and China, and November’s US presidential election – mean that markets are likely to remain volatile. And so turnover should remain on a broadly upwards path. City analysts expect earnings to balloon 85% in 2020 and the current landscape means the bottom line could keep on climbing, too.
Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of B&M European Value. 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.