When it comes to searching for the best shares to buy now, there’s no better time for doing it than the beginning of a new year.
And who doesn’t want to find shares that have the potential to double their money? I suspect it’s the goal of many people. And the beginning of 2021 could prove to be a great starting point for many new portfolio investments.
Some things could help businesses to thrive in the year ahead. For example, the UK’s free trade agreement with the EU frames the ongoing trading relationship between the two entities. And, despite the recent flare-up of the pandemic, there’s been great progress in the fight against Covid-19. Like many people, I’m optimistic the start of the countrywide vaccination programme will prove to be a decisive blow in the battle against the virus.
So, I’m enthusiastic about my share picks for this year. And I reckon the following two stocks have great potential for the next 12 months and beyond.
2 of my best shares to buy now
The FTSE 250’s John Wood (LSE: WG) provides “consulting, projects and operations solutions” in the energy and built environment industries. As such, the business experienced declining earnings over the past few years driven by the downturn in the oil sector.
But City analysts predict double-digit percentage growth in earnings this year following a similar uplift in 2020. And the recovery in the oil industry is helping the progress along with the company’s strategic plan to focus operations on “differentiated, higher-margin business”. There was an example of the plan in action in November when the company announced the completion of the sale of its joint venture interest in TransCanada Turbines for a cash sum of $67m.
I reckon the firm’s portfolio optimisation programme could combine with general economic recovery in 2021 to propel the shares higher. With the stock near 323p, the forward-looking earnings multiple for 2021 is just below 16.
Meanwhile, Wynnstay (LSE: WYN) is a smaller business with a market capitalisation just below £70m. But despite its size, the agricultural supplies company has a stable trading record and has been good at raising shareholder dividends incrementally over the past few years. With the share price near 344p, the forward-looking yield is just above 4.3% for the trading year to October 2021.
This one could be a Brexit winner
City analysts expect steady single-digit advances in annual earnings ahead. But the valuation is undemanding with the earnings multiple for next year running near 10. And the shares were as high as 650p in the spring of 2017. Back then, Wynnstay was posting double-digit percentage annual increases in earnings. So, it seems the stock has re-rated down to reflect the current growth rate.
I reckon the pandemic is making life difficult for the business right now. But Wynnstay’s position as “an essential supplier to the farming community” means it’s well placed to serve what could be a growing industry in Brexit Britain. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the outlook improve and the valuation re-rate back up as 2021 unfolds.
Kevin Godbold has no position in any share 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.