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Best UK shares: 3 dirt-cheap FTSE 100 stocks I’d buy before they rally

The FTSE 100 might have come a long way from the market crash, but not all individual stocks have. I think some of the best UK shares to buy now are among this group, those that have missed the rally. These otherwise robust stocks are still selling at dirt-cheap levels. I’m talking about stocks that suffered a massive blow because of the lockdowns. Their prices had a bigger mountain to climb than others in any case. But doubts about the future have also held them back. At least until now.  

Best UK shares to buy now

Consider the FTSE 100 hospitality company Whitbread (LSE: WTB), whose share price has inched up from rock-bottom, but is still half of what it was pre-crash. This may change, however. It sounded upbeat in the trading update released yesterday. 

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It reported that many of its hotels and restaurants are now open and it expects the majority to reopen during July. It also reported good demand in traditional regional tourist destinations. This is good news because the summer months bring in so much business for the industry. 

This bodes well for the future, even though recent months have been tough. Some challenges still exist as the recession drags hospitality down, but I have little doubt that the owner of Premier Inn can make it through. In fact, it has already acted to ensure this. It completed a £1bn rights issue in June to secure the business to “withstand a long period of low revenues”. Positive business developments, financial strength and a long history makes it one of the best UK shares for me to buy before it starts rallying. 

Looking ahead with optimism

Similarly, things are turning around for the better for FTSE 100 real estate developer, Barratt Developments (LSE: BDEV), whose share price has been quite muted in recent months. In its trading update earlier this week, it reported a strong order book.  According to CEO David Thomas, the company is beginning its new financial year with “cautious optimism”. 

To me, that sounds most positive coming from a company that has just weathered the lockdown and whose market could remain lukewarm because of Brexit uncertainties and the ensuing recession. I reckon this otherwise financially healthy company will see better times ahead. And sooner rather than later, I reckon that this stock will rally, making it the second of my best UK shares to buy right now. 

Big changes ahead

FTSE 100 insurance biggie Aviva is another dirt-cheap stock, with a price-to-earnings (P/E) of only 4.5 times. Even though I’m not a big fan of financials right now, this did get my attention. Its past share price trend doesn’t suggest as much capital appreciation opportunity as WTB or BDEV. 

It is, however, even by its own standards, at subdued levels. A freshly announced change in leadership suggests some big restructuring might be under way in the near future. It remains to be seen what happens next, but at the current levels AV does look attractive making it the third of my best UK shares to buy right now. 

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Manika Premsingh 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.