If the following three stocks have fallen off your investment radar, it may be time to take another look.
I've thought for some time that BT Group(LSE: BT) hasn't got the glory it deserves. This is a stonking growth stock, up 127% in the last five years, against just 3.5% for the FTSE 100. Yet it never seems to win the praise it deserves. It's obviously good to talk, is this the wrong time to hail BT? Growth has slowed lately and investors are watching to see what happens when Ofcom makes it easier for rivals to access its network. BT Openreach, which maintains the UK's largest phone and broadband network, must allow rivals to use its poles and tunnels to build their own advanced fibre networks connected directly to homes and offices. The competition could hurt.
Yet BT retains its strengths, with the purchase of mobile network EE allowing it to package fixed line, mobile, broadband and television quad-play services, and it's expanding its operations in Asia and Latin America. It has also built on its Premier League and Champions League coup to build market share. BT isn't overpriced at 13.6 times earnings and there's scope for dividend progression, with today's 2.7% yield forecast to hit 3.7%.
I've said for some time that J Sainsbury(LSE: SBRY) is a good company in a bad sector. It has avoided the excessive scandals and missteps that have dogged rival Tesco (profit warnings, accounting tricks, ill-advised artisan coffee ventures, I could go on) and protected market share from discounters. Its recent decision to dump multi-buy discounts and its brand match offer appear to have struck the right note with customers who want low prices across the board.
Markets have now turned onto Sainsbury's, with the share price up 25% in the last three months. The grocery sector is back in favour but Tesco and WM Morrison both trail, rising around 16%. Trading at less than 11 times earnings and with dividend repair pointing at a forecast yield of 3.7%, Sainsbury's is my buy in this troubled sector. Now let's see what it does with Argos.
Once-rampant SKY(LSE: SKY) has been overshadowed by BT in recent years. Who could have foreseen that? Its stranglehold on the Premier League is now being challenged and the spiralling cost of football broadcasting rights, which has triggered a windfall for clubs and arguably helped fuel Leicester's title challenge, is coming directly out of the pockets of Sky and its customers.
With Q3 revenues up 5% to £8.72bn and operating profits up 12% to £1.14bn, these problems look more than manageable. Sky is a strong brand with a loyal customer base addicted to its Premier League football, and with ambitions to expand its operations to the continent, notably Germany, Austria and Italy. It may also benefit from Ofcom's assault on OpenReach. However, I can't shake the nagging concern that today's pricey valuation of 17.71 times earnings suggests that Sky isn't as underrated as I thought.
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Harvey Jones has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Sky. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.