With stock prices jumping around a lot at the moment, some shares are trading at a lower price than they were just a few weeks ago. I have been looking for cheap shares to buy now for my portfolio. When doing that, I have been focussing on companies I think have attractive long-term business prospects and whose shares seem like good value to me. Here are two I would consider buying today for my portfolio.
The consumer goods maker Unilever (LSE: ULVR) is a global giant, with weekly sales of a billion euros last year. The company’s stable of instantly recognisable brands such as Domestos and Hellmann’s helped the company to a €6.6bn profit after tax.
Over the past 12 months, though, the Unilever share price has fallen 12%. That partly reflects challenges facing the company that I think are still risks to the share price. For example, rampant cost inflation means the company needs to push up its prices if it wants to maintain its profit margins. But that could lead to some customers buying cheaper alternatives, hurting Unilever’s revenues.
From a long-term perspective, though, I expect the strong cash generation properties of the company’s portfolio of brands to support share price recovery. Meanwhile, the company’s dividend at the current share price stands at an attractive 4.4%. I think the company’s broad footprint and wide portfolio of premium brands can help it weather economic storms fairly well. I would be happy to hold the shares in the coming years and see the beaten down share price as a buying opportunity for my portfolio.
After falling 6% in the past year, I have been having another look at meat producer Cranswick (LSE: CWK) as a possible addition to my portfolio.
Meat might not sound like an exciting high-growth industry. In some countries, meat consumption is becoming less popular. But Cranswick has honed a business that benefits from high meat demand in some very large markets. The company has raised its dividend annually for over three decades, with last year’s payout going up 16%. Currently, the shares offer a yield of 2.2%.
I reckon a number of drivers could help the business keep growing in the coming years. While meat consumption may decline in some countries, other markets will likely see demand increase as their growing economies lift average household purchasing power. There is also a mismatch between demand and supply for pork, made worse by factors such as labour shortages in parts of Europe that keep abattoirs from operating at full capacity. That could help support pork prices in years to come.
Cranswick remains a growth story – revenues increased 14% last year – and the price-to-earnings ratio is now 17. I see that as attractive and would consider buying this “pork folio” for my own portfolio.
Cheap shares to buy now
Whatever happens next in stock markets, I see these two companies as having strong businesses with ongoing prospects. Dividends are never guaranteed, but both companies have been reliable dividend payers.
At their current prices, I see them as cheap shares to buy now for my portfolio and hold for the long term.
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Christopher Ruane owns shares in Unilever. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Unilever. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.