I believe the best shares to buy are those that are bucking the economic trend. In addition, they should perform strongly in terms of profit, revenue, and growth of market share. B&M Retail European SA (LSE:BME) falls firmly in that category for me.
More commonly known as B&M Bargains or B&M Homestore, it currently boasts over 600 stores across the UK and employs over 28,000 people. BME is referred to as a discount retailer. In recent years, such stores have become more popular as consumers are moving away from the traditional retailers looking to make their cash go further. It is estimated BME attracts over four million customers each week.
Share price value
When the stock market crashed, BME shares were trading at 380p per share. At the height of the crash, its share price value had dropped approximately 30% to just 266p per share. As I write this, impressive trading results and strong performance mean shares are trading at nearly 500p per share. This is an impressive increase of nearly 90% since the market crash low. Right now shares trade on just 15 times forecast earnings, which is very reasonable in my opinion.
B&M is classed as an essential retailer during the Covid-19 pandemic. With so much economic uncertainty, consumers have been stockpiling and shopping habits have changed within the lockdown and pandemic period. B&M has benefitted from this. This is why supermarkets and essential retailers are some of the best shares to buy now in my opinion.
Last week BME released a half-year trading update that covered the 26 weeks to 26 September 2020. There were several positive takeaways starting with group revenues jumping over 25% to £2.24bn. Like-for-like revenues at UK stores rose 23%. It seems BME’s out-of-town retail park locations proved popular with bargain hunters.
BME’s other businesses also fared well, which contributed to the overall impressive results. Frozen food business Heron Foods (with approximately 275 locations in the UK) traded well in the half-year period. Babou stores (which has 90 locations in France) registered positive like-for-like sales growth.
Overall performance contributed to an adjusted pre-tax profit of £253.6m over the period. This is an increase of almost 130% compared to the same period last year, which is mightily impressive.
One of the best shares to buy now
B&M is also one of the few retail stocks offering a dividend stream. In its update, BME revealed its half-year dividend would increase by a huge 59.2% to 4.3p per share. Furthermore, it promised to pay out a special dividend of 25p per share.
BME’s rise within a dwindling retail sector is a great achievement in my opinion. It has grown very impressively over the years to become one of the UK’s leading retailers. In September, it announced further plans to open another 45 stores in the UK. The fact we are in the midst of a global pandemic and economic downturn makes the announcement even more ambitious in my opinion.
I believe BME could be one of the best shares of 2020. Here is another FTSE 100 stock I really like right now.
Jabran Khan has no position in any 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.