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Best UK shares to buy? I’d invest £5k in these 3 stocks

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If you’re looking for the best UK shares to buy right now, here are three of my favourites. 

Best UK shares to buy

With so much uncertainty swirling around the UK and global economy, I think it may be best to focus on high-quality stocks with a worldwide presence and strong balance sheets. 

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With that in mind, I think it could be worth taking a closer look at Fevertree Drinks (LSE: FEVR). This company has grown from a start-up into one of the UK’s most promising growth businesses over the past few years. 

It recently started expanding into America, after taking over the UK market. Lockdown has hurt the business, but like many consumer goods champions, Fevertree’s strong customer following should help the business pull through. 

Indeed, analysts are forecasting a 30% decline in net income this year, followed by growth of 45% in 2021. Over the past six years, net income has surged from just £1.3m to £50m. As the company continues to focus on growth, I think it’s likely that this trend will continue. 

It has no debt and also supports a dividend yield of 1%. These qualities make the business stand out as one of the best UK shares to buy now. 

Centamin 

In uncertain times investors buy gold. That’s good news for gold miners like Centamin (LSE: CEY). Currently trading at a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) multiple of 16.1, the African-based group looks cheap compared to its defensive nature and growth potential. 

It also has income potential. The price of gold has jumped this year and that has helped Centamin’s bottom line. At a time when so many other companies have had to cut their dividends due to falling profits and sales, the rising gold price has helped the group maintain its cash returns to investors. The stock currently supports a dividend yield of 5%, compared to the market average of 3.5%. 

As well as this income potential, Centamin has no debt and enough cash to sustain its dividend for nearly four years without any income.

That’s why I think this is one of the best UK shares for income and growth.

Nichols

Finally, I have my eye on soft drinks producer Nichols (LSE: NICL). The company’s brands span the still, carbonated, post-mix and frozen drinks categories, which gives it a defensive nature. Even at the height of the coronavirus lockdown, consumers still had to eat and drink.

This suggests the business has what it takes to weather further coronavirus uncertainty and potentially survive another lockdown. 

After recent declines, the stock is trading at a forward P/E of 19.7, which is just below its long term average of 20. It also offers a dividend yield of nearly 3% and the balance sheet is stuffed full of cash.

At the end of the firm’s most recently reported financial period, Nichols’ cash balance was worth two years of dividends.

Like the UK shares listed above, these qualities make the company highly appealing, in my opinion. 

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Rupert Hargreaves owns no share mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Nichols. 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.

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