Not many FTSE 100 shares have bounced back stronger than before the market crash. The following two have done it, though. It’s an impressive feat, and suggests they are well placed to survive any further Covid-19 uncertainty.
These two FTSE 100 shares could help protect your portfolio against a second lockdown this autumn, but there’s a problem. Both are pretty expensive.
It helps to be market leader in a niche product, and Spirax-Sarco Engineering (LSE: SPX) specialises in steam. This can be used to heat or sterilise food production, oil refining, beer making, and drug manufacturing.
Stock market crash survivors
The Spirax-Sarco share price is one of the top performing FTSE 100 shares. It delivered a total return of 768% over 10 years to 31 December 1999, with dividends reinvested. The group was beaten only by equipment rental specialist Ashtead Group (a whopping 2,589%!!) and life-saving technology specialist Halma (932%), according to research from AJ Bell.
Spirax-Sarco didn’t escape the March stock-market crash completely unscathed. It bounced back with tremendous speed, though, rising almost 25% over the last six months. Earlier this month, it reported an 8% drop in half-year operating profits to £119m, with revenue down 4% to £569.7m.
As the economy struggles to escape the clutches of Covid-19, second-half growth will be lower. Management still lifted the interim dividend 5% to 33.5p. It has form on this front, having hiked its dividend, at an average rate of 7% a year, for the last decade.
This FTSE 100 share is even more expensive
Don’t let that low 1.1% yield fool you. It looks small because the share price has risen so fast, up a thumping 230% over five years. The big problem that it is priced for growth, trading at 38 times earnings. Some may baulk at that price. If you do, put Spirax-Sarco on your watchlist and see what happens in the next crash.
The Ocado Group (LSE: OCDO) share price leaves Spirax-Sarco standing. The FTSE 100 group’s share price is up an incredible 134% in six months, and 624% over five years. Although best known as a grocery delivery group, investors have been buying it as a global technology play. Ocado hopes to “change the way the world shops”, in its own words, by selling its Smart Platform to grocery retailers around the world. It also has a joint venture with M&S.
Ocado benefited from rising demand during the lockdown but what really matters is whether it delivers on its promise to build worldwide sales. This FTSE 100 growth share has been losing money as it builds its business, but latest half-year losses narrowed from £147.4m in 2019 to £40.6m, as its online delivery technology generates new revenues in Paris and Toronto.
Ocado is priced for growth and is expensive to buy today, trades at a dizzying high price/revenue ratio of 10.6 times, way more than most FTSE 100 shares. That means you are at risk if Ocado’s momentum fades. It’s too expensive for me, but I said that six months ago and look what its share price has done since.
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Harvey Jones has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Halma. 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.
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