We all know that stock markets are in the doldrums at the moment. But the upside of this is that shares are cheap, and many in-demand stocks are well off their highs. If you're seeking out bargains, it's a great time to buy and here are three of my current picks.
Shire: Overlooked bargain?
So many articles are written about GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca, but rival pharma firm Shire(LSE: SHP) is often overlooked. Yet this has been one of the fastest growing drugs companies of the past decade.
Shire is less a company, and more a federation of companies. Each of these mini companies develops a treatment for a rare disease. And this model has worked a treat, with a rapid growth in sales and profits.
However, after peaking a year ago, the share price has been tumbling. From a high of 5,680p, Shire shares have fallen to 3,819p. Yet this is still a solid business that's churning out cash year-after-year.
The group's 2016 P/E ratio is forecast to be 13.42, with a dividend yield of 0.92%. For a company that's still growing, that looks like good value to me.
Royal Mail Group: Time to take a look
In 2013 there was much talk of the privatisation of Royal Mail Group(LSE: RMG) having been botched with the business sold off too cheaply. Yet the chatter has quietened down of late with the shares closing Friday one penny lower than the 2013 LSE debut price. But I think it's now worth taking a look once more at this delivery specialist. After reaching a peak of over 600p, the share price has fallen to just 441p.
This is a highly profitable business that's still benefitting from the internet shopping boom. Many of the purchases we all make through Amazon and other online retailers like eBay are dispatched by Royal Mail. And it now appeals as an income play, with the prospect of a rising share price as well. Checking Royal Mail's fundamentals bears this out. The company's 2016 P/E ratio is predicted to be just 11.13, falling to 10.23 in 2017. And the dividend is a stonking 4.99%, rising to 5.23%.
EasyJet: Benefitting from the oil price
Falling oil prices have had a devastating effect on companies such as BP and Royal Dutch Shell. But the airlines stand to benefit. That's why I see easyJet(LSE: EZJ) as a good long-term play. And the fact that the budget airline's share price has been sliding recently makes it even more attractive.
At the current price of 1,553p, the company's forecast 2016 P/E ratio is just 10.42, falling to 9.21 in 2017. The dividend yield is 3.86%, rising to 4.38%. So this airline looks cheap, with a high income. And with the oil price most likely to remain low for the long term, you can expect both share price increases and a rising yield. I rate easyJet as a strong buy.
It's not often that you find a fast-growing share that's both consistent, and has momentum. Yet our experts at the Fool have unearthed exactly that.
It's a well-known company with a strong track record and an impressive growth rate. And we at the Fool think it could really boost your portfolio.
Prabhat Sakya 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.