Our top purchased stocks of 2017

Article updated: 15 December 2017 at 10:00am Author: Helal Miah

Helal Miah, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, comments on our top purchased stocks in 2017.

  • Busiest trading year in five years at The Share Centre with 57% ‘buys’ in 2017
  • Investors becoming savvier and looking for buying opportunities in light of industry issues and takeover speculation
  • Investors seem to be putting their hopes on recovery stocks in last 12 months

As we checkout of 2017 Helal Miah, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, comments on the top ten companies personal investors have added to their basket this year:

The ten most bought companies at The Share Centre in 2017 which are based on the number of trades made by our customers:

1. Lloyds Banking
2. UK Oil & Gas Investments
3. GlaxoSmithKline
4. BT
5. Sirius Minerals
6. BP
7. National Grid
8. Vodafone
9. Royal Dutch Shell B
10. Carillion

In what has been the busiest trading year in five years at The Share Centre* it’s clear that investors are becoming savvier as they look for bargain buying opportunities when companies are hurt by industry issues, takeover speculation, dividend fears and even profit warnings. This is cemented by the fact that this year, 57% of trades have been ‘buys’.

It's been a rollercoaster of a year

Banking giant Lloyds was the most purchased company in the last 12 months. The group has had a rollercoaster of a year starting off with results beating expectations citing a healthy economy, then over the summer the market reacted negatively to the group setting another £1bn aside for PPI charges and most recently it reported that its third quarter profits were up 150% year on year as it indicated that the recovery is ongoing as the numbers showed continued momentum across many measures. With the government selling off its remaining shares, the dividend being reinstated providing a steady source of income, it’s unsurprising to see the group in the top spot.

Shares in oil exploration company UK Oil & Gas Investments have jumped over 150% since the start of the year as speculative investors chase the potential vast returns if fracking operations ever become anything like that in the US. The AIM listed company features as the second most bought company in 2017 and its volatile nature is likely to have appealed to higher risk investors looking for a quick win and hoping for the discovery of new resources.

2017 has generally been an encouraging year for the oil sector, mainly because of the oil price recovery which saw levels reach their highest in two years. Expectedly this has resulted in improved investor sentiment and therefore it’s no surprise to see two giants of the sector BP and Royal Dutch Shell, also feature in the top ten list.

The defensive nature of GlaxoSmithKline and the competitive dividend yield, which is in excess of 5% paid to investors, make this company a core holding for many portfolios. Its high positioning in the top purchased list is likely as a result of a buying opportunity which presented itself in October when the shares fell in reaction to an underwhelming commitment to the all-important dividend meaning it could be at risk if the group makes significant acquisitions in the future.

BT investors rejoiced at the beginning of the year as it finally reached a deal to legally separate its Openreach division. However, ongoing troubles at the telecoms giant meant that investors have had little to be inspired by and it is likely to feature due to a hope of recovery. Indeed, there has been progress on a number of restructuring programmes to turn the business around and deliver cost savings and its consumer focussed businesses such as EE helped offset sales figures to an extent.

National Grid and Vodafone continue to remain popular with investors at The Share Centre, probably because of the steady stream of income the companies offer and the recognition that the demand for its products remains high.

It’s always interesting to analyse what investors have been buying in their portfolios and the fact that it’s been our busiest trading year in five years is reassuring because it indicates that investors have not been put off by the volatile and uncertain market conditions we’ve experienced in the last couple of years.


All information given including prices, yields and our opinion is correct at the time of publication. Our opinions on investments can change at any time and for our latest view please go to www.share.com. To understand how our Investment research team arrive at their views please read our Investment Research Policy.

Helal Miah portrait photo
Helal Miah

Investment Research Analyst

Helal has spent time as an independent proprietary trader, trading the US equity futures market. He has also helped manage private client, institutional, retail and hedge funds. His qualifications include the Securities Institute Diploma and the Investment Management Certificate.

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