There are several thousand companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. The sheer volume of UK shares can make it hard for investors to find attractive ISA investments.
With that in mind, I’m going to take a look at two companies I believe could produce large total returns for investors.
UK shares to buy
Many companies have struggled in the coronavirus pandemic. However, global tobacco giant British American Tobacco (LSE: BATS) has been able to navigate the crisis with ease.
Ethical considerations aside, the business has some of the most attractive qualities of all UK shares. The firm has large profit margins, throws off lots of cash, has a strong balance sheet, and provides a stunning level of dividend income.
What’s more, over the past year, the company’s sales have held up relatively well. According to the firm’s latest trading updates, while Covid-19 has impacted trading sales, price hikes have been able to offset this decline.
As a result, British American is expected to report earnings growth of around 5% in 2020. This suggests the firm will be one of the few blue-chip companies to publish earnings growth in 2020. Despite this growth, the stock appears cheap. It’s currently changing hands at a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 8.3. It also offers a yield of 7.7%.
Considering these figures, I reckon the stock could be a great addition to a diversified basket of UK shares.
British American’s peer, Imperial Brands (LSE: IMB), also looks to me as if it could be an excellent long-term investment.
Like its larger peer, Imperial’s latest trading update stated that the firm’s tobacco sales would rise around 1% this year. That’s not the best growth rate in the world, but it’s impressive considering the current economic environment.
Based on this growth, the firm expects to report a mid-single-digit decline in earnings per share for the year. I think the drop is more than reflected in the stock’s current valuation.
It’s dealing at a forward P/E of just 5.3, that makes the company one of the cheapest UK shares on the market. The rest of the market is trading at an average P/E of 14, which implies that even if shares in the tobacco group doubled, they’d still look cheap.
The shares also offer a dividend yield of 10%. Once again, I think this level of income more than compensates for the risk of investing in a business with falling earnings.
As such, I think buying Imperial today could be a sound decision. The company’s defensive nature and income potential are two qualities that stand out to me right now. It also seems as if the business is well-placed to withstand the second wave of Covid-19 as it sweeps across Europe.
With its double-digit dividend yield and defensive nature, Imperial could be one stock to tuck away for the long term.
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Rupert Hargreaves owns shares in British American Tobacco and Imperial Brands. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Imperial Brands. 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.