With economists and business leaders fearing that the worst is yet to come for the UK economy, investor confidence could remain low for the foreseeable future. Despite this, certain companies continue to thrive amidst unfavourable trading conditions and I think investors would do well to single out these stocks. Arguably, they could be the best shares to buy now.
Prospering in spite of bleak conditions
However, companies that have continued to profit throughout the period of the pandemic are few and far between. Often though, they share similar characteristics, which makes them easier to identify. For example, businesses that have continued to sell their products and services to consumers in similar, or even greater, volumes than previously are those to watch in my view. This indicates that regardless of the economic conditions, sales can remain consistent. Thus, the company can still make a healthy income.
While sales resilience is no guarantee of continued prosperity in a post pandemic world, it certainly indicates the strength of the underlying business.
Best shares to buy today
For instance, consider financial services company Hargreaves Lansdown. The UK’s largest fund supermarket reported a record £7.7bn in new business in the 12 months ending June. That’s thanks to a surge in new clients during the coronavirus pandemic. On top of this, the company boasts outstanding finances and is a market-leader in the industry. Unfortunately, all this comes at a price. The shares are relatively expensive, with a P/E ratio of 35. That said, I’m confident the investment platform will continue to prosper. Therefore, for those prepared to hold for the long term, that’s a price well worth paying in my opinion.
On a similar note, the London Stock Exchange (LSE: LSE) has performed strongly over recent months, with its share price growth being testament to this. After crashing in the depths of the sell-off, the shares are up 48%. The LSE’s total income for the six months ending 30 June jumped 8% year-on-year, with total revenues up 4%. As a result of the group’s strong financial position and confidence in its future outlook, the directors announced a 16% hike in the interim dividend. The company profits through traders placing deals through its services, a lucrative business when markets are in turmoil. As such, I see buying LSE shares today as a wise move, given that financial markets could be stuck with heightened volatility for the foreseeable future.
Another top pick
Finally, I’d consider Polymetal shares as another strong play given the uncertain macroeconomic outlook. The precious metals mining group saw both production and revenues rise in the second quarter of 2020. This was helped along by rocketing gold and silver prices. Considering both commodities could remain hugely popular over the coming years, largely thanks to economic uncertainties, the company looks set to enjoy a sustained boom in business. Couple this with a healthy balance sheet and I’m confident Polymetal will continue to grow earnings and increase production. In my eyes, this makes the company one of the best shares to buy now, even with an above-average P/E ratio of 21.
Matthew Dumigan has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Hargreaves Lansdown. 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.