The best shares to buy in 2022

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Picking stocks based on what will happen in short periods is often a humbling experience for investors, as the only true certainty is that something unexpected will determine the direction of financial markets.

But there are a number of themes bubbling away that are sure to become more relevant in the next 12 months. Owning stocks that will profit from them increases the chances of beating the market in 2022. 

From decarbonising the world, to persistent supply chain issues and rising inflation, these trends will power profits at the following companies.

ASML

The shortage of computer chips is well publicised, with car companies delaying production and tech companies saying they may fail to meet delivery targets.

With more and more items needing computer chips, the problem is forecast to last into 2023, which is great news for companies involved in making semiconductors.

One company at the heart of the process is Dutch firm ASML, which has a monopoly on the “lithography” machines required to make the most advanced computer chips. 

In its latest update to investors, it said demand continued to be high and that the growth of online business would keep fuelling sales.

With 50pc profits margins on the machines it sells, and revenue growth set to hit 35pc this year, the best could yet be to come for the shares, despite their 561pc return over the past five years. 

Louise Dudley, of investment manager Federated Hermes, said: “The pandemic has triggered a significant rise in demand for semiconductors. ASML, which we hold in all of our European stock funds, is benefiting from this demand.

“The firm has become a linchpin for the global tech sector through its position as the sole manufacturer of extreme ultraviolet technology, which enables chip makers to reduce the size and increase the power and functionality of semiconductors.” she said.

SSE

The push from governments to achieve “net zero” carbon emissions will require significant investment in renewable energy. 

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