Should I buy FTSE 100 stock Tesco in August?

A Tesco employee chatting with a customer

It hasn’t been an easy decade in the life of Tesco (LSE: TSCO). Britain’s biggest retailer has been on the defensive as discounters like Aldi and Lidl and premium chains such as Waitrose have shorn down its customer base. The subsequent drive to slash prices has taken a huge bite out of profitability. And the problem is set to get worse as Amazon ramps up its attack both online and on the high street.

A report from consultancy Edge by Ascential showed that Amazon UK’s sales of edible products rocketed 17.6% year-on-year in 2020. Clearly, Covid-19 lockdowns have played into the hands of e-commerce retailers and this helped push the US company’s revenues to the moon. But the party isn’t over yet as consumer habits change and Amazon expands. Edge by Ascential thinks Amazon will be the 15th biggest seller of edible goods by 2025, up four places from today and overtaking the likes of Shell, McColl’s, BP and Wilko.

Tesco’s share price: ua cheap on paper

It’s critical to remember that Tesco is still the UK’s biggest retailer. It has the financial clout, as well as the expertise, to remain a significant player in the grocery sector. And its acquisition of wholesaler Booker a few years ago offers plenty of promise too, as people spend more and more on going out instead of on physical goods. The reopening of the hospitality sector following the pandemic should give profits here a welcome jolt. Like-for-like sales at Booker leapt 9.2% during the three months to May.

Tesco’s share price looks very cheap on paper. City analysts think the retailer’s annual earnings will rocket 144% this fiscal year (to February 2022). Consequently the company trades on a forward price-to-earnings growth (PEG) ratio of just 0.1. A reading below 1 suggests that a stock could be undervalued by the market. The kicker is that Tesco also boasts a 4% dividend yield right now. This beats the broader FTSE 100 figure by almost a full percentage point.

A shopping basket filled with Tesco own-brand goods

A high-risk FTSE 100 stock

But in my opinion, this cheapness reflects Tesco’s uncertain position in a market that is becoming increasingly competitive and thus exerting more and more pressure on the supermarket’s ua-thin margins. In the last non-coronavirus-affected fiscal year (to February 2020) the grocer’s operating margin in the UK and Ireland clocked in at a lowly 4.2%.

Tesco’s margins also face a significant threat from a shortage of lorry drivers, a problem that’s forced it to introduce £1,000 ‘golden hellos’ to HGV drivers in recent weeks. Rising employee costs threatens to be a long-term headache as well. Brexit has lowered the number of workers Tesco can call upon to keep its shelves stacked and lorries moving. A long fight against Covid-19 could worsen the problem too should travel restrictions remain in place. All things considered I’d rather buy other shares this August.

The post Should I buy FTSE 100 stock Tesco in August? appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.

“This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997”

I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.

But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.

What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.

And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool.

Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge!

More reading

  • What’s next for the Tesco share price?
  • 2 dividend stocks I’d buy right now
  • 3 of the best UK stocks to buy in 2021 for long-term returns
  • Why is the Tesco share price rising?
  • 3 top UK shares to buy right now

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of and has recommended Amazon. The Motley Fool UK has recommended the following options: long January 2022 $1,920 calls on Amazon and short January 2022 $1,940 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Tesco. 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.