Stocks and Funds that could blossom post-Brexit

With the UK set to ‘leave’ the European Union (EU) on 31 January, we take a look at investments that may benefit

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For UK investors a running theme over the last few years has been uncertainty. The referendum result stunned many investors, while the ensuing political chaos kept many more at bay. This had a profound effect on both UK markets and the economy as a whole.

Since the Referendum in June 2016 the FTSE All-Share has underperformed the US markets (S&P 500) by 36.7% and the European markets (MSCI Europe ex-UK) by 7.7%.

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According to research by Bloomberg Economics, uncertainty and the Brexit process as a whole is estimated to have cost the UK £130bn. This equates to the economy being roughly 3% smaller now than it could have been had the referendum gone the other way.

However, following MPs voting in favour of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, the UK is now expected to meet the latest Brexit deadline, helping to dissipate some of this uncertainty and restore a degree of confidence in UK markets.

The following sectors and companies are those we think stand to do well over the medium term, provided additional certainty follows 31 January and investor sentiment continues to tick upwards:

Consumer Discretionary

This sector includes those industries which tend to be most sensitive to economic cycles. With interest rates and inflation at stubbornly low levels this creates a supportive environment for consumers to spend, meaning companies in this sector should benefit.

Games Workshop – manufactures and retails table top war-game systems and associated miniatures. A company which you may think would not do well in today’s e-commerce driven climate, but has gone from strength to strength in recent years. It has consistently beaten analyst estimations, and although may appear to be slightly pricey, it is certainly a stand-out performer within the sector.

Persimmon – is one of the UK’s largest homebuilders, and through selective and disciplined land strategy has been able to maintain superior margins against its peers. Couple this with a valuation which looks cheap compared to other housebuilders and a recent drive to improve both the quality of its properties and customer service, and you have a business in prime position to capitalise on a potentially resurgent UK housing market.

Money Supermarket – operates finance and travel comparison websites, allowing consumers and businesses to compare a wide range of products. The majority of revenues come from fees collected from the sale of loans and credit cards, while also earning money through advertising. The company has strong free cash flow margins and should stand to do well with increased consumer spending.

Information Technology

This is a sector which is going to continue transforming the way we live and conduct business. The sector offers various growth opportunities but also comes with higher risk.

Dot Digital – operates in the niche field of digital marketing and is the number one cross-channel marketing automation provider in the UK. The company boasts consistent and robust fundamentals with impressive margins and balance sheet strength. On top of this, they are actively expanding operations worldwide. Strong, growing strategic partnerships and improving product innovations makes this company a very promising proposition for the future.

FDM Group – offers IT services in the form of project management, business analysis and data operations. The group has benefited from consistent expansion on a global basis with its H1 2019 report acknowledging a solid number of new client wins across a variety of industries. It is likely demand for FDM’s services will remain consistent and with solid growth rates across all segments, the outlook is bright.
Sage – is a relatively defensive software company that pays a reasonable dividend of roughly 2%. It is also one of the UK’s biggest software providers. Operating in a sweet spot nicknamed ‘the golden triangle’ (accounting, payroll and banking) and reinforced by the group’s cloud computing - the business is set to push forward over the coming years. Recurring revenues also pave the way for sustainable cash-flows, offering the company opportunities to invest into new growth projects further down the line.

Healthcare/Consumer Staples

These two sectors are renowned for their defensive qualities and late-market cycle characteristics. Defensive stocks generally have the ability to weather difficult spells in the market thanks to consistent demand for products.

GlaxoSmithKline – over the coming years, ageing demographics are likely to spur demand for the group’s products. The company frequently acquires new companies and actively looks to innovate, boasting a relatively robust product pipeline. On top of this they offer a peer-beating dividend yield of over 4%.

Unilever – is the name behind a number of well-known brands across the globe. The company reported a slowdown in some of its emerging markets over the second half of 2019 causing shares to fall. We feel this offers an attractive entry point for a solid company, delivering defensive cash-flows. With a growing middle class globally, and an attractive valuation on offer, the shares show promise.

Cranswick – supplies meat products such as pork, gourmet sausages and other related products. The company has had a strong 2019 amid supply constraints in China which has caused pork exports to the region to double. Increased US demand also paves the way for further demand and should help guide the shares higher. The stock’s fundamentals are strong and they also have a secure balance sheet helping to provide a good foundation for growth.

If you like the idea of investing in UK companies, but would like an expert to manage your money for you – then the following funds should help you unlock the UK market’s potential:

CFP – SDL UK Buffettology

It seeks to deliver a return superior to the performance of the UK stock market over the long term (5-10 years). This is done by investing in high quality businesses at discounted prices, which have strong pricing power, predictable earnings and reputable management able to deliver a solid return on capital. This multi-cap, concentrated approach would fit nicely alongside a core UK strategy.

FP – Octopus UK Multi Cap Income

This relatively new fund, having only recently celebrated one year since launch, is certainly attracting more investor attention due to its stellar performance in 2019. The fund blends companies from across the entire UK market: large and well-established companies offering significant dividends with mid and smaller companies offering potential to provide superior growth. A very competitive pricing point and a 34% return in 2019 certainly makes it one to consider.

MAN GLG UK Income

Manager Henry Dixon operates a disciplined investment process, seeking to invest in undervalued companies with a yield of at least that of the market. The fund has a varied market-cap exposure, differentiating it from a large number of peers, putting it in a good position to deliver competitive returns should the UK see increased investment flows this year.

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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.

 

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