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Nick Raynor

10 shares to bring Christmas cheer to investors

Written by: Nick Raynor on December 7th 2010

Category: FTSE 100, Investments, Reports, Shares

With Christmas just around the corner, Nick Raynor, investment adviser at The Share Centre identifies 10 shares he feels may benefit from the festive period.

Albemarle & Bond

We are expecting another credit crunch Christmas and pawn brokers could be extremely busy as consumers look to raise extra funds. As the price of Gold reaches a high new of over $1400 dollars an ounce, and continues to rise, that old ring from grandma could help boost your income during Christmas and the New Year celebrations. The share price has had a tremendous run and we can only see this continuing.

Albemarle & Bond is listed on the AIM market and so is unable to be held in an ISA.

GlaxoSmithKline

GlaxoSmithKline has an impressive product range as well as an impressive yield – it currently stands at just under 5%. Several of the companies products should prove popular over the Christmas period; Lucozade to recharge the batteries after spending too much time playing with the children’s toys; Horlicks to help send you off to sleep when counting sheep just won’t do; Panadol to help get over the predicted hangovers; and Niquitin for that New Year’s resolution to quit smoking once again. These are just some of the company’s products and what adds to GlaxoSmithKlines’s attraction is, is that there are so many more products in the pipeline waiting to come to market.

Vodafone

Vodafone is now in its 26th year of trading and has over 300 million proportionate customers, based in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Asia Pacific and the United States. The only area Vodafone has not colonised yet is South America, and its exposure to India is one of its main attractions – a venture that may not have gone well so far, but in due course will reap rewards. The yield is also attractive and the company’s strong share buy back scheme is helping underpin the share price.

HMV

We would firstly like to thank all those customers who read and comment on our articles we publish.

“In respect of HMV, our comment and opinion was initially written prior to their announcement. Following this, we reviewed our position and initially moved it to a hold. Subsequently, we have further amended our view to a sell given the poor set of trading figures and the continuing bad weather.” 22/12/10 Andy Parsons, Advice Team Manager, The Share Centre.

Results are out on December 9th and forecasts are that profits will have fallen even further in comparison to last year, however we still see this as a recovery play. The performance from its Waterstones book stores looks to be improving and a number of high profile computer games have been released recently which should help in the run-up to Christmas. Also, Susan Boyle’s new album is out which we know will be a best-seller, and do well for HMV.  Impressively, HMV has managed to maintain its dividend which puts it on a yield of nearly 10%. We don’t believe it can stay at current highs, but believe some of it will stay.

ASOS

Winter is upon us and no doubt so will the new range of fashionable winter wear, from welly boots and coats, to hats and scarves, and where better for followers of fashion to go than ASOS. Performance this year has been tremendous, the share price has risen well over 100%, mainly due to the retailers launch of country specific websites springing up all over the globe – most recently in the US. Some maybe put off by ASOS’s high share price, but if you can see past that, there is some value still to be had.

British Airways (soon to be International Airlines Group)

The merger with Iberia has been agreed, and the airline has won approval to work closer with American Airlines – these are the highlights for one of the UK’s most iconic brands this year. Disputes with staff and volcanic ash clouds led to flight disruptions and cancellations, but the British Airways just keeps on coming back. Passenger figures could improve over the Christmas period as consumers get fed up with British weather and the cold wind from Siberia blowing in. Not just a play for Christmas, but an opportunity for the longer term holder to add to their portfolio.

Centrica

Consumers may not be too happy about the 8% rise in the price of gas by British Gas but shareholders will be pleased the company is not reducing its profit margins by keeping prices artificially low. As other gas providers are also increasing prices the company shouldn’t see too many clients shifting accounts. Centrica has always been tipped as a potential takeover scenario, with European and Russian firms being named as potential suitors. Nothing has come to fruition yet, but never say never. A solid company with a solid yield.

Tesco

Tesco is undoubtedly one of the biggest retailers in Europe, if not the globe, and is looking to expand even further afield by introducing cash and carry type stores in to India. The supermarket is looking to expand in the Far East and we think they will be looking to enhance the ‘Fresh n Easy’ US brand, that is currently the only blip in the company’s push for global dominance. Supermarkets historically do well over the Christmas period and with the price wars now commencing only the fittest will survive. We feel Tesco is by far the fittest.

Booker

Booker is a cheap alternative for investors who want exposure to the food retailing sector. The cash and carry firm is well established in the UK market and has now made in-roads into the Indian market – something Tesco is looking to emulate. Booker have 172 branches in the UK and just the 1 flagship store in India, with expansion plans to open a further two stores later in 2011. Mainly used by restaurants and corner shops demand at this time of year is high. Looks good in the shorter and longer term.

Mothercare

Mothercare now own the Early Learning Centre brand which has been very popular this year, and will continue to be in the run up to Christmas – both in stores and online. Overseas operations are now the big expansion push for the company, with India and China amongst those areas being colonised. The group has 387 UK stores and 830 overseas. As the global baby boom continues, we believe Mothercare will certainly be a beneficiary.

Please read our investment research policy to understand how the Advice team arrive at their view.

Tags: Albemarle & Bond, ASOS, GlaxoSmithKline, HMV, Vodafone

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