A price-to-book value of less than one suggests a company could be undervalued because, in theory, its assets could be sold for more than its stock market value.
During times of market turbulence, such as the present, companies are much more likely to be trading on a low price-to-book value. With this in mind, Bowmore Wealth Group has worked out which UK companies are currently trading on p/b ratios of less than one.
The research looked at UK companies with a market capitalisation of £550 million or more (the median market cap for the FTSE All Share index). In total, 33 companies were found to be trading below their book value. Nine of these are in the FTSE 100 and 23 in the FTSE 250.
According to the research, the stocks currently trading below book value are largely clustered in sectors hit hard by the coronavirus crisis and lockdown measures.
For example, cinema chain Cineworld has a p/b ratio of 0.46. Similarly, Mitchells & Butlers, which manages pubs and restaurants across the UK, has a p/b ratio of 0.47. Travel companies have also been hit hard, with IAG and First Group also on the list.
Banks are also prominent on the list owing to the likelihood of loan defaults rising.
Charles Incledon, client director at Bowmore Wealth Group, comments: “An investor could pay less than 30p for £1 of value in the case of some companies. Finding a share that is trading at a discount to its book value is a great way to identify a value investment, if the company’s other fundamentals are sound.
“Certain sectors have suffered in recent months for being heavily exposed to the effects of the coronavirus crisis – particularly consumer, travel and energy.
“Clearly some of these companies have been trading at a discount to their book values because the companies are contending with serious underlying issues that still need to be solved. In that case, investors should assess whether it’s the book value is artificially high.”
Money Observer article link: https://bit.ly/31TgWQs