The Rightmove (LSE: RMV) share price has stumped during the pandemic, even while the UK property market has been going gangbusters. It has fallen 3.5% this morning at the time of writing, after reporting a 29% drop in full-year revenue to £205.7m.
This was largely down to the FTSE 100-listed property portal giving estate agency and housebuilding customers discounts to see them through April to September last year. Operating profits fell 37% to £135.1m, with margins shrinking from 74% in 2019 to 66% in 2020.
The Rightmove share price is still up an impressive 54% over five years, but the future looks bumpy and the stock is expensive.
Property up, portal down
Rightmove’s generous share buybacks totalled £148.8m but were put on pause in the pandemic, and investors got just £30.1m in 2020. On the plus side, they will resume next month. The dividend is already back, with a final payout of 4.5p. Customers have been loyal, with membership down just 3%. The site still boasts more than one million UK residential properties, up 100,000 on last year, more than any other portal.
The Rightmove share price could get a boost if Chancellor Rishi Sunak extends the stamp duty holiday in next week’s Budget as most people expect, which should delay or prevent a sharp housing market slowdown.
Management no doubt made the right decision by giving customers discounts to keep them sweet, and will hopefully be rewarded if and when normality returns. However, I think the Rightmove share price will come under added pressure if employment rises sharply after furlough. With the stock trading at 32.3 times forecast earnings, it looks too expensive for me.
Commodity supercycle dawns
Right now, I would prefer to buy a company with stronger growth and income prospects, and there seem to be plenty around in the mining sector. The Anglo American (LSE: AAL) share price jumped 3.94% yesterday after it posted better-than-expected full-year profits and hiked its dividend. EBITDA earnings did fall 2% to $9.8bn, but that was better than the $9.4bn total that investors had anticipated.
Other numbers were even more positive. Anglo American lifted the final dividend 53% to 72p a share, while rising commodity prices generated enough cash to pay down $2bn off its net debt, reducing the total to $5.6bn. The De Beers owner recovered from falling diamond sales in the first half, with consumer demand for jewellery improving in China, and even the US. Iron ore and copper demand is strong.
Rightmove share price doesn’t tempt me
If the global economy explodes out of lockdown and we enjoy another ‘roaring twenties’, this £38bn mining giant could benefit. That is a big if, of course. If today’s lockdowns are extended due to mutant Covid variants, demand could slump.
My other worry is that the Anglo American share price has flown so high that it will be hard to maintain the momentum. It is now up an incredible 599% over five years, and 46% over 12 months. Yet it trades at just 8.2 times forecast earnings. That tempts me far more than today’s fragile Rightmove share price.
This also tempts me.
Covid-19 is ripping the investment world in two…
Some companies have seen exploding cash-flows, soaring valuations and record results…
…Others are scrimping and suffering.
Entire industries look to be going extinct.
Such world-changing events may only happen once in a lifetime.
And it seems there’s no middle ground.
Financially, you’ll want to learn how to get positioned on the winning side.
That’s why our expert analysts have put together this special report.
If the pandemic has completely changed our lives forever, then they believe that this stock, hidden inside the tech-heavy NASDAQ, could be set for monstrous gains...
Harvey Jones has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Rightmove. 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.