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FTSE 100 stocks: 3 to watch out for in March

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FTSE 100 (London Stock Exchange Share Index) on Gold Coin Stacks Isolated on White
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There probably isn’t a worse time to be releasing news than when the FTSE 100 is in panic mode. However, that might be exactly what some of its members are forced to do when they report to their shareholders early next month. Today, I’ve picked out three stocks from the top tier that I’ll be watching in March. 

Fresnillo

Silver and gold miner Fresnillo (LSE: FRES) was one of the top-performing FTSE 100 shares in 2020. In 2021 so far, it’s been a completely different story. Since the beginning of the year, the very same shares have slumped almost 30% in value.

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Arguably the main reason for this price reversal is down to the company reducing its gold forecasts for the year as a result of operational difficulties. Aside from this, the price of the precious metal has also fallen considerably since hitting record highs last August. Of course, Fresnillo isn’t the only company impacted by the latter, but it does go some way to highlighting how volatile commodity prices can be and how much risk investing in this sector involves.

It will be interesting to see how shareholders react when the miner announces its latest set of full-year results on 2 March. Even if there’s nothing further to worry about from a company perspective, the recent sell-off may push even more investors to consider taking some profit off the table.

Legal & General

After a rollercoaster year, Legal & General (LSE: LGEN) shares are back to pre-pandemic levels. Whether they stay there for long is another thing entirely. 

Of course, investing in a FTSE 100 insurance firm doesn’t guarantee a comfortable ride. Legal’s fortunes are heavily tied to the health of the global economy. And, as things stand, there’s still no consensus on how bad things will be post-coronavirus. 

On the other hand, one could argue that the shares are still cheap enough to mitigate this risk. Despite recovering strongly since news landed of the successful coronavirus vaccines, LGEN’s stock still changes hands at just 9 times forecast earnings.

There’s also the income stream to consider. At the time of writing, analysts have the company returning a total dividend of 18.5p per share to owners in FY21. That’s a yield of 7.1%. What’s more, this chunky payout looks likely to be covered sufficiently by profits, making the possibility of a cut in the near future fairly remote.

LGEN reveals its numbers for 2020 on 10 March.

Taylor Wimpey

A final FTSE 100 share worth watching in March is housebuilder Taylor Wimpey (LSE: TW). Although I don’t expect its full-year results (released on March 2) to generate much in the way of headlines, we could see some positive momentum in the shares the following day. This is assuming Chancellor Rishi Sunak does extend the stamp duty holiday as expected in the Budget.

Quite how long this boost lasts remains to be seen. It could be that many investors are still waiting for a better idea of how the housing market will shape up in the rest of 2021. As such, I’m not sure Taylor Wimpey will move out of the 100p-200p trading range it’s been stuck in for most of the last six years or so just yet. 

In the meantime, the company trades on a valuation of 11 times forecast FY21 earnings. It looks financially fit with net cash on the balance sheet. 

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Paul Summers has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Fresnillo. 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.

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