The Brexit vote gave us some buying opportunities after the City's knee-jerk reaction sent some shares plunging further than was really rational. The risk to the banks is real, though the initial sell-off was almost certainly overdone and we've seen some modest recoveries.
But the housebuilding sector was harshly punished too, and I don't see the justification. Persimmon(LSE: PSN) lost a whopping 39% between the referendum and a low on 6 July. Since then we've seen a recovery to 1,737p, and while that's still 17% down overall, there was a nice profit for those folk who saw the craziness for what it was and pounced.
On the way back?
But not all have recovered so quickly, so are there any bargain laggards? McCarthy & Stone(LSE: MCS) might just be one. The shares followed the same sector path, but from their 6 July nadir they've only picked up a bit and still languish on a 26% loss -- and that's even with a 7.4% gain this morning to 175p, after the retirement home builder released an encouraging trading update.
A previous update in September told us that, while legal completions had risen by 29% in the year and revenue was up 31%, reservations since the referendum were down and cancellations were up. The company also noted that a prolonged housing market weakness "could affect our ability to deliver our targeted 15% volume growth previously indicated for the financial year ending 31 August 2017."
But today we learned that the new financial year is off to a good start, with stronger reservations in the first five weeks and cancellations back to normal rates -- and the firm's order book, at £173m, is close to last year's £177m.
McCarthy & Stone shares are now on a forward P/E of under 10, with 3% dividends forecast, and that sounds good value to me -- and EU or no EU, I really can't see the demand for retirement homes in the UK being anything but healthy in the long term.
Full year results should be with us on 15 November, and with a bit of luck we'll get more insight into how the new year is progressing.
But how about Persimmon now? Well, I think we're looking at a seriously oversold share there too, despite its better post-vote recovery. City analysts are forecasting a 9% rise in EPS for the year to December, and after a 29% rise in pre-tax profit for the first half that pushed EPS up 19%, I really can't see things falling short of that.
There's a 5% earnings drop pencilled-in for 2017, presumably on expectations of a Brexit-driven house price slowdown, but that would still leave Persimmon shares on a very attractive P/E multiple of 9.5.
And even that earnings softness could be over-pessimistic. With interim results released in August, Persimmon chief executive Jeff Fairburn told us the firm's "private sale reservation rate since 1 July is currently 17% ahead of the same period last year" and predicted a "good autumn sales season."
On top of that, Persimmon shares are offering predicted dividend yields of better than 6% this year and next. They should be more than adequately covered by earnings and are looking safe at this stage.
Persimmon's next trading update is due on 2 November and autumn booking figures should give us some idea of post-referendum demand.
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Alan Oscroft 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.