Two UK shares to buy now

I think that upcoming half-year financials from Crest Nicholson (LSE: CRST) could lead to a fresh share price spurt in the coming days. Demand for new-build homes in Britain is soaring right now thanks to a mix of low interest rates, government incentives for first-time buyers, and the intense mortgage product wars being fought out among lenders.


It’s my opinion that these favourable conditions are set to persist. It’s also why I already hold FTSE 100 builders Barratt Developments and Taylor Wimpey in my Stocks and Shares ISA. My belief that Crest Nicholson will release a terrific set of trading numbers on Thursday, 24 June has been reinforced by news coming out of Vistry Group. Earlier in May, the company — just like its FTSE 250 industry rival Crest Nicholson did back in March — lifted its full-year forecasts on the back of a “very positive” start to 2021.

City analysts think annual earnings at Crest Nicholson will soar 86% in 2021. They’re predicting another 32% bottom-line rise next year as well. As a result, the UK housebuilding share trades on a forward price-to-earnings growth (PEG) ratio of 0.2. A reading below 1 suggests that a stock could be undervalued. I think this sort of valuation is hard to ignore, even if Crest Nicholson could suffer from huge unexpected costs and construction delays caused by a growing shortage of building materials.

I also think AO World’s (LSE: AO) share price could soar when it unveils full-year financials on Thursday, July 1. The UK retail share certainly impressed investors in mid-April when it said revenues had leapt 62% during the 12 months to March.

I’m backing AO World to release more sunny results for a couple of reasons. I reckon its online-only model — allied with its huge spending to improve its infrastructure over the past year — will have kept sales on a strong upward slant during the ongoing e-commerce boom. I’m also encouraged by the steady stream of strong retail sales data in recent months.

Latest numbers from the Office for National Statistics showed the value and volume of sales in the UK surged 9.2% in April. This was double what City analysts had been expecting. It’s possible that the vast amount of money Britons saved during lockdowns will keep tills rattling across the retail sector too.

Brokers predict that AO World’s annual earnings will soar 41% and 23% in the fiscal years to March 2022 and 2023 respectively. Consequently the electricals giant trades on a forward PEG of just 0.8. That being said, the UK economy isn’t out of the woods as the Covid-19 crisis rolls on and Brexit turbulence manifests itself. It’s possible that these bright growth forecasts could be blown off course. And AO World’s share price could fall as a result.