You can hardly read a financial site these days without bumping into someone telling you that the stock market is overvalued and is heading for a fall. But selling up doesnt make sense if there are individual bargains to be found amongst FTSE 100 shares.
Insurance on the up
Take insurance giant Aviva (LSE: AV)(NYSE: AV.US). While Aviva shares are up 55% in two years to 519p, over the past 12 months the price has been pretty flat. But earnings have been climbing since the whole insurance sector was hit by the financial crash and Aviva was forced to slash its overheating dividend theres a 3% dip in EPS forecast this year, but analysts are predicting a 12% rise in 2016.
All of that puts the shares on a forward P/E of only 11 for this year, dropping to under 10 a year later. On that alone, I really cant see how anyone could think Aviva is overvalued and when you throw in a recovering dividend expected to yield 4% this year and 4.7% next, come on, it has to be a steal, doesnt it?
Is housing safe?
Now, you might think Im mad suggesting that a share thats put on 68% in 12 months and has more than five-bagged in five years is still cheap. But that actually is what I think about Barratt Developments (LSE: BDEV). At 601p today, the shares have rewarded investors well since the crunch, but it really does look like theres more to come with a P/E thats still below the FTSE long-term average.
In fact, the forecast 40% rise in EPS for the year ending this month would give us a P/E of around 13.5, and a further 18% earnings increase marked down for next year would drop it as low as 11.5. Barratt is also set for better-than-average dividends, with yields of 3.9% and 4.8% expected this year and next, and the cash would be well covered by earnings.
Energy always needed
My third choice for today is SSE (LSE: SSE)(NASDAQOTH:SSEZY.US), and its a pure dividend play. Reinvesting dividends is the surest way to maximise the long-term profit from an investment portfolio and, of course, they make for an easy cash-withdrawal mechanism for when you eventually want the cash.
Dividends from the utilities companies are about the most reliable there are, as they have good long-term visibility and dont need to retain much cash. SSEs forecast yields reach 5.5% and 5.6% this year and next, and the firm has a policy of lifting each years payout at least in line with inflation. And you dont even have to pay a premium for these dividends SSE shares are on forward P/E multiples of only 14 to 15.
Investing in top FTSE 100 shares like these can bring great long-term rewards.
To find out more, get yourself a copy of the Motley Fool’s special 7 Simple Steps For Seeking Serious Wealth report, which shows you how investing in shares and reinvesting dividends has wiped the floor with every other form of investment over the past century and more.
It’s completely FREE, so click here for your personal copy and get started today.
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.