5 UK Shares to Bet On in 2013

01/04/2013 10:30 am EST


Most of these blue chips had stellar years in 2012, but still have a ways to go to reach the pre-crisis highs, writes David O'Hara of The Motley Fool UK.

2012 has been a decent year for the FTSE-100. So far this year, the index has risen 7.1%. That's in line with the long-term average return on equities.

I've looked through the FTSE-100 to find five shares that I expect will have a great 2013. I make no apologies for the list being top-heavy with banks. I believe the sector will do well.

Click to Enlarge

1. Royal Bank of Scotland
RBS is the recovery play that trumps all other recovery plays. At the worst of the financial crisis, Royal Bank of Scotland came within hours of going broke. A taxpayer bailout rescued the bank; in doing so, the government became RBS' biggest shareholder.

RBS shares already had a great 2012. From the beginning of the year to just before the holiday, they were up 57.7%. The rise has been assisted by the political response to the Eurozone panic. This has helped bring calm to the markets following the panic at the start of the year.

Before the Eurozone crisis came to the fore, RBS traded significantly higher than they do today. For over a year from March 2010, shares in RBS spent almost every day trading over 400p. The shares even traded over 500p for a few weeks in April 2010.

If the markets can move on from the Eurozone, I expect RBS shares will end 2013 considerably higher than they are today.

2. Lloyds Banking
Lloyds is the best-performing share in the FTSE-100 for 2012, up 91.6%. This momentum shows no signs of petering out. In the last month, Lloyds is up 9.6%; today, the shares stand at their highest since July 2011.
Like RBS, the UK taxpayer also owns a substantial stake in Lloyds. The crucial difference is that the government's stake in Lloyds is a minority.

Though rises in 2012 have been significant, the taxpayer is still well down on its Lloyds investment. The shares would have to rise another 50% for the government to break even.

Lloyds is expected to report 2.5p of earnings per share (EPS) for 2012, rising to 3.8p in 2013.

Unlike RBS and Lloyds, the government has no stake in HSBC. There is much less risk associated with the shares. As a result, HSBC's price is less volatile and trades at a more normal rating.

HSBC is expected to report EPS of 92 cents for 2012, rising to $1.02 of earnings in 2013. This means that the shares trade on a 2012 price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 11.6 times forecast earnings, falling to 10.4 times for 2013.

I am starting to believe again that bank shares deserve high ratings. In all but the most exceptional circumstances, they are resilient businesses.

Take HSBC. The bank was paying out dividends throughout the worst of the crisis. The bank has not reported a loss in any of the last five years, despite incurring some large writedowns. HSBC is stronger than most other businesses.

HSBC is expected to yield 4.2% this year, rising to 4.6% for 2013.

4. BP
BP's recovery from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster continues. With much of the litigation and claims already dealt with, BP is close to putting the incident behind it.

The shares currently trade on just 7.3 times 2012 EPS estimates, falling to 7.2 times the 2013 number. As you might expect for a share trading on such a low rating, the dividend yield is high. BP is forecast to pay a total of 38 cents per share in dividends for 2012, rising to 42 cents for 2013. This means that at today's price, the shares come with a 2013 dividend yield of 6%.

BP's new Russian deal with Rosneft could transform the company. If dividends can increase to the level they were before the disaster in the Gulf, BP shares would yield 8.2%.

5) Royal Dutch Shell
Shell is the FTSE-100's dividend daddy. In 2011, Shell paid out more to its shareholders than any other FTSE-100 stock. This amounted to ?1 in every ?8 paid by FTSE-100 shares. This integrated oil major is little short of a money-making machine.

For 2012, Shell is expected to dish out a total of $1.76 of dividends. For 2013, this is expected to rise to $1.80. Shell has not cut a dividend since the end of the Second World War. It is not only a great UK dividend share, it is one of the best income stocks on the planet.

Shell is also attractive on a P/E basis. Analysts expect EPS for next year to hit $4.45, putting the shares on a 2013 P/E of just 8.1.

Read more from The Motley Fool UK here...

  By clicking submit, you agree to our privacy policy & terms of service.

Related Articles on GLOBAL

Keyword Image
The Realities of Tariffs
03/14/2019 6:00 am EST

The biggest beneficiaries of tariffs will be the nations and producers that are not involved in the ...