Late on Friday afternoon and with one full trading day left in November, it has been a record month for stock markets worldwide. The MSCI ACWI global equity index is up 13.2% in November, while the US S&P 500 index has leapt almost 375 points (11.4%) this month. Likewise, the UK’s FTSE 100 has soared nearly 785 points (14.1%) in less than 30 days.
This really has been an exceptional month, with the largest monthly moves I’ve seen as an investor in UK shares since 1986–87. Nevertheless, I still see more value lurking in cheap shares hiding in the FTSE 100. Here’s one quality stock I’d happily buy today.
Cheap shares don’t have to be low-priced
Billionaire investment guru Warren Buffett argues that, “It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price”. In other words, don’t expect to pay low prices for choice products, because quality costs more. Hence, when I’m looking for highly attractive value shares, I ask myself four questions. First, is this a great business? Second, does it have good managers? Third, does it have a pedigree reputation? Fourth, is its stock reasonably priced? If the answer to all four questions is yes, then these are actually cheap shares, because they offer high quality at a fair price.
Johnson Matthey is an outstanding business
You may not have heard of FTSE 100 firm Johnson Matthey (LSE: JMAT), but it is an outstanding British success story. Johnson Matthey is a world leader in specialist chemicals and precious metals, with a track record dating back to 1817. Its outputs are used in the production of industrial chemicals, emissions controls, batteries, and medical and pharmaceutical products. But it also supplies materials to make batteries and hydrogen fuel cells. Thus, it’s at the front line of the inexorable shift to electric vehicles.
At the current share price of 2,260p, the business is valued at £4.38bn, making it one of the smaller Footsie constituents. Yet JMAT is a quality business, run by good management, with a world-leading franchise. Yet its cheap shares are still on sale. What’s not to like? Nevertheless, JMAT is one of the most overlooked and unloved stocks in the FTSE 100. Since I called its cheap shares a buy in mid-April, it’s only been covered by Fool writers 10 times. That’s only about once every three weeks, which might be a positive indicator for deep value.
This Buffett business is a bargain buy
When scaling their all-time highs in June 2018, JMAT shares neared £38. Later, at their 52-week high on 8 December last year, they hit £31. During the spring market meltdown, they crashed as low as 1,614p on 23 March. Today, they trade a mere two-fifths (40%) above this multi-year low and over £15 below their 2018 high. JMAT stock currently trades on a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 11.9 and an earnings yield of 8.4%. It also offers a forward dividend yield of 3.1%, in line with the wider FTSE 100. That’s far too cheap for a company with almost two centuries of expertise and evolution. Hence, I’d buy these cheap shares today, ideally inside an ISA, to enjoy decades of delicious tax-free dividends and capital gains!
Cliffdarcy 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.