I believe the stock market could rally in 2021. With that in mind, I have detailed two FTSE picks from my best stocks to buy now list.
Best stocks to buy now #1
FTSE small-cap growth share Clipper Logistics (LSE:CLG) is my first pick. CLG is a logistics firm that focuses primarily on the retail sector. Its client base includes ASOS, Asda, and British American Tobacco. Many retailers have had to adopt a stronger online presence in the face of restrictions. This has resulted in the need for logistics and e-fulfilment services which will continue in 2021 and beyond, in my opinion.
In CLG’s first half-year trading update, it reported a revenue increase of nearly 30% compared to the same period last year. In its most recent trading update, released at the beginning of January, CLG reported increases in revenue in its logistics business of 50% for the months of November and December compared to the same period last year. I’m confident these positive results will continue in 2021 and beyond.
CLG is currently trading at 566p per share as I write. This is a 310% increase from its market crash low of 135p per share in March 2020. I see its share price increasing further in 2021 as the retail sector adapts to evolving shopping habits. Excellent performance, an established client base, and potential to grow further is why CLG is on my FTSE best stocks to buy now list for 2021 and beyond.
FTSE 100 opportunity
Just Eat (LSE:JET) has benefited from the pandemic and restrictions, which have forced many to stay indoors. JET has strategically navigated atop the online takeaway industry. It has consistently invested in its infrastructure and made shrewd acquisitions. Forbes estimates the food delivery industry could be worth a staggering $200bn by 2025 and is thriving.
JET released a fourth-quarter trading update last month. The Q4 marked a third consecutive quarter of growth and order growth of 58% in the UK alone. Delivery orders increased nearly five-fold compared to the same period in 2019. JET expects an over-50% increase in revenue for the year.
JET shares are currently trading at close to 7,500p per share. This is a 36% increase from the market crash bottom of 5,500p back in March 2020. It has recovered well and I believe this trend could continue in 2021. Analysts forecast JE will record earnings growth of nearly 25% in 2021 and profits will be close to double too, which is why it is on my best stocks to buy now list. Of course, forecasts can change based on future developments and can’t be relied on.
Risk and reward
JET has been growing rapidly with a very aggressive growth strategy. This has resulted in the company recording losses which troubles me. In addition to that, if the pandemic ends in 2021, performance could slow as people return to eating out rather than ordering in.
CLG’s balance sheet shows it has a fair bit of debt. This troubles me as it could make the stock vulnerable if a downturn occurs and shoppers return to the high street. Furthermore, CLG chairman Steve Parkin recently sold about £60m worth of stock. I interpret this as a sign he may see the current valuation as a bit high.
I understand these risks but these two are still on my best stocks to buy now list for 2021. Here is another FTSE 100 stock I really like.
Jabran Khan has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Clipper Logistics and Just Eat Takeaway.com N.V. 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.