Neil Woodford's Five Lowest P/E Shares

Published in Investing on 19 July 2012

A search for value among the investing legend's blue-chip Olympians.

Ace City investor Neil Woodford has thrashed the FTSE 100 (UKX) over the last five, 10 and 15 years. Hence, I always keep an eye on his holdings for promising investment ideas.

Woodford is very, very selective in picking shares for his £20 billion funds. Fewer than one in five of the UK's top 100 companies earn a place in his market-beating portfolios.

The following five companies are currently the cheapest of his blue-chip holdings based on forecast 12-month price-to-earnings (P/E) ratios. They are ranked cheapest first:

CompanyShare price (p)P/E
BAE Systems (LSE: BA)3087.4
AstraZeneca (LSE: AZN)2,9857.9
BT Group (LSE: BT-A)2268.9
G4S (LSE: GFS)2459.2
Wm Morrison Supermarkets (LSE: MRW)2739.5

BAE Systems

The defence contractor is not one of Woodford's largest holdings, but sneaks into the top 10 of his High Income fund with a weighting of 3.7%. The company has suffered from recent defence spending cutbacks in its major US and UK markets, and analysts are forecasting fairly flat revenues and profits between 2012 and 2013. However, investors buying today can expect to receive a dividend yield comfortably in excess of 6% while waiting for stronger earnings growth to return.


The drugs group has an aggregate weighting of over 8% in Woodford's funds, just pipping fellow pharma GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) to the top spot. AstraZeneca's revenues are under pressure from patents expiring on some of its major drugs, but the group is flush with cash to invest for the future and, like BAE, offers investors today a dividend yield of over 6%.

BT Group

The UK's leading fixed-line telecoms group is a top five holding in Woodford's funds with an aggregate weighting of around 5%. Analysts are forecasting flattish revenues for the next year or two, but a modest advance in earnings. The dividend, which is well covered by earnings and gives a 3.7% trailing yield, is forecast to grow by double-digits in each of the next two years.


The security firm is currently all over the news on account of the debacle of its staffing shortfall for the Olympic Games. G4S is not one of Woodford's biggest holdings, but he's come out publicly in support of the group's under-fire boss, Nick Buckles. You don't achieve the level of market-beating returns Woodford has by only picking shares that will win a popularity poll among investors, and for that reason alone G4S could be worth a closer look.

Wm Morrison

The UK's fourth-largest supermarket sits outside Woodford's top 10 holdings with a weighting of a bit over 1.5%. Morrison's isn't the cheapest UK supermarket on P/E and it has the lowest dividend yield. However, it has higher forecast earnings and dividend growth than its rivals, and is the only supermarket Woodford deems worthy of holding.

Two of the five shares I've highlighted feature in an exclusive Motley Fool report -- "8 Shares Held By Britain's Super Investor" -- which is free to download right now. If you are interested in learning about Woodford's successful investing strategy and discovering his favourite large caps with high dividends and steady growth potential, simply click here for your free report.

"10 Steps To Making A Million In The Market" is the very latest Motley Fool guide to help Britain invest. Better. We urge you to read the free report today – it may transform your wealth.

Further investment opportunities:

> G A Chester does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

Share & subscribe


The opinions expressed here are those of the individual writers and are not representative of The Motley Fool. If you spot any comments that are unsuitable hit the flag to alert our moderators.

theRealGrinch 19 Jul 2012 , 10:09pm

im yawning my head off at woodford stories

Clitheroekid 19 Jul 2012 , 10:29pm

im yawning my head off at woodford stories

There's a remarkably easy cure for this - don't read them!

I realise it's currently fashionable to knock TMF for their somewhat OTT coverage of Woodford and Buffett. However, I personally find a lot of the information interesting, including today's feature.

Nobody's forced to read the articles, so I can't understand why they feel the need to do so and then waste even more of their valuable time complaining about them.

jackdaww 20 Jul 2012 , 9:42am

ignore the plugs.

a lot of usefull stuff.

some very good comments.

i doubt tmf will change their policy so i am somewhat miffed when i see a big number of comments and 80% turn out to be anti woodford/buffett plugs.

UncleEbenezer 20 Jul 2012 , 3:28pm

Can people not make the distinction between an honest/meaningful Woodford/etc reference and a useless formulaic one?

This article is clearly labeled as a Woodford piece, so a mention here seems perfectly in order. But some of TMF's references can get very tedious. Just how many times can they inflict "Find out which FTSE 100 share Buffett likes" on us?

jaizan 20 Jul 2012 , 7:59pm

Picking the lowest Woodford shares is an interesting little variation on the theme.

geeWCee 23 Jul 2012 , 9:38am

Actually this was one Woodford article I was happy to read - at least we gained some useful knowledge from it rather than the usual poorly disguised advert.

boromma 23 Jul 2012 , 10:13am

I like woodford and buffet pieces, they give me things for my watch list.

Join the conversation

Please take note - some tags have changed.

Line breaks are converted automatically.

You may use the following tags in your post: [b]bolded text[/b], [i]italicised text[/i]. All other tags will be removed from your post.

If you want to add a link, please ensure you type it as as opposed to

Hello stranger

To add your own comment, please login.

Not yet registered? Register now.