Why NOW could be the time to buy Imperial Brands plc, Old Mutual plc and BT Group plc!

BT logo on building
BT logo on building

Today I'm looking at three FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE: UKX) diamonds I believe are set to shine.


A smoking selection

For defensively-minded investors, I believe that it's difficult to look past cigarette giant Imperial Brands (LSE: IMB).

The tobacco sector has long been a haven for stock pickers in volatile times like these. And with China cooling, US economic growth stalling, and Britain possibly on the brink of tumbling out of the European Union, I think the likes of Imperial Tobacco could continue to steam higher.

Sure, rising health concerns may make smoking less of a cultural mainstay than in days gone by. But Imperial Brands has what it takes to mitigate falling cigarette volumes as brands like Kool and Davidoff grab market share.

And I reckon the business provides stunning value at the present time, with expected earnings growth of 12% and 6% for the years to September 2016 and 2017, respectively, producing P/E ratings of 15.8 times and 14.8 times.

Furthermore, chunky dividend yields of 4.2% and 4.6% for 2016 and 2017 seal the investment case, in my opinion.

Emerging market marvel

I believe the promise of bulging financial product demand from Africa makes Old Mutual(LSE: OML) a hot growth pick for the years ahead.

The multi-pronged assets specialist is in the process of a massive restructuring that will see it split into four units by 2018, allowing it to concentrate on key markets like South Africa where it eventually plans to relocate.

Although Old Mutual is expected to endure an 8% earnings dip in 2016, the insurer still deals on an ultra-low P/E rating of 10.1 times. And the reading dives to a mere 9.3 times for next year thanks to an anticipated 9% bottom-line bounce-back.

Meanwhile, dividend yields of 4.3% for 2016 and 4.8% for next year smash the FTSE 100 average of 3.5% by some distance.

Make the connection

With its broadband expansion scheme still clicking through the gears, I expect BT Group(LSE: BT-A) to deliver sterling returns in the years ahead.

The telecoms giant announced in May that it plans to spend £6bn during the next three years alone to extend its super-fast broadband and 4G coverage across the country. Previous investment has already worked wonders in transforming its BT Consumer TV, phone and broadband division, helping sales here to leap 7% in the year to March 2016, to £4.6bn.

BT currently deals on a reasonable P/E rating of 15.4 times for current fiscal year, shrugging off a predicted 9% bottom-line dip as massive capital expenditure weighs. And the multiple drops to 14 times for 2018 thanks to an anticipated 8% earnings rebound.

On top of this, BT carries handy dividend yields of 3.4% and 3.8% for 2017 and 2018, respectively. I reckon the business is a great 'all-rounder' at current prices.

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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.