Having fallen by 13% since the EU referendum, shares in Whitbread(LSE: WTB) now appear to offer excellent value for money. They trade on a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 14.9, which given the company's long-term growth outlook seems to be rather cheap.
Certainly, Whitbread is a UK-focused business. Its Premier Inn hotel chain has been a major success story of recent years. However, a UK recession could cause budget hotels to enjoy even greater popularity as consumers trade down to lower-cost options. Furthermore, Premier Inn also has international expansion potential, which could prove to be a further phase of growth for Whitbread's earnings.
Similarly, Whitbread's Costa Coffee is also expanding abroad. The division will benefit in this regard from a weaker sterling. Furthermore, coffee and other beverages are now not so much a consumer discretionary item, but rather a consumer staple. As the credit crunch showed, consumers are unwilling to give up little luxuries such as a cup of latte or mocha, and so Costa Coffee could prove to be very resilient and push Whitbread's net profit ever higher.
Margin of safety
Also offering upside potential is Boohoo.Com(LSE: BOO). The online fashion retailer has international operations, so weakness in the UK economy may be offset by strength from its foreign operations. Furthermore, Boohoo is a relatively cheap place to shop and so it could enjoy a boost to sales if shoppers feel the pinch and decide to trade downwards. This is what occurred during the credit crunch and history could well repeat itself in 2016 and beyond.
In addition, Boohoo sells its own-label products. This means that over recent years it has built up a degree of customer loyalty that could make its goods less price elastic. This could shelter Boohoo from a potential downturn in the UK economy and with its shares trading on a price-to-earnings growth (PEG) ratio of only 1.3, they seem to offer a sufficiently wide margin of safety to merit purchase at the present time.
Meanwhile, Tullow Oil's(LSE: TLW) share price isn't dependent on the performance of the UK economy. However, it's closely linked to the price of oil. A downturn in the price of black gold can't be ruled out over any time period, since supply remains high and demand sluggish. This means that the billions of dollars in writedowns that were seen in recent years could return, which is a clear risk to Tullow's financial outlook.
However, with Tullow trading on a PEG ratio of only 0.1, it seems to offer limited downside and significant upside. Its new project in Ghana is about to come on-stream according to the company's update at the end of June. This is likely to be a game-changer for the company and should aid cash flow, thereby seeming to make Tullow's debt profile more manageable. This could cause investor sentiment in the stock to improve even after Tullow has risen by 54% in the last six months.
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Peter Stephens owns shares of Whitbread. 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.