The outlook for the global economy in 2022 is rife with potential problems. The Covid-19 crisis continues to drag on. Runaway inflation is expected to worsen, and China’s economy is cooling rapidly. I wouldn’t like to predict where the FTSE 100 will be this time next year.
This doesn’t mean I’ll stop looking to add to my shares portfolio though. There are plenty of UK shares that could thrive in 2022, even if broader economic conditions remain tough. So should I buy these two FTSE 100 shares for my portfolio?
A high-risk FTSE 100 share
At first glance, International Consolidated Airlines Group (LSE: IAG) shares don’t look that cheap, at current prices. At 137p, the British Airways owner trades on a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 27 times for 2022.
Could IAG’s share price be worth such a meaty premium though? There’s a lot I like about the Footsie flyer, like the immense customer loyalty its brands command and its robust position in the transatlantic market. I also like its significant exposure to the fast-growing budget segment, through its Aer Lingus and Vueling divisions.
That being said, I won’t be touching IAG shares with a bargepole right now! The company isn’t as financially robust as other UK airline shares like Ryanair and Wizz Air, putting it in greater jeopardy as the Covid-19 crisis worsens. In fact, I find its net debt pile (which sat at €12bn as of mid-2021) frankly terrifying.
My fears for IAG ratcheted up this week when travel rival TUI said that booking levels are cooling following the emergence of the Omicron variant. Things threaten to remain difficult too if countries continue to ramp up travel restrictions to limit infection rates.
I think Fresnillo (LSE: FRES) could be a much wiser FTSE 100 stock for me to buy. I think the silver and gold it produces could steadily gain in value as fears over Omicron remain, boosting profits at the Mexican miner. Recent US data showing inflation there hitting 40-year highs has also boosted my appetite for this stock. Precious metals tend to rise in value when inflationary pressures increase.
Fresnillo also looks more attractive than IAG’s share price, at current levels of 858p. It trades on a P/E ratio of 13.9 times for 2022, while its price-to-earnings growth (PEG) ratio of 0.9 sits below the watermark of 1 that suggests a stock could be undervalued.
Mining shares like Fresnillo come with their fair share of risk, of course. Exploration work can fail to reveal what the company believes could be the next mammoth mining project. Development and production costs can also spiral out of control and issues that bring output to a halt are commonplace. This can hit revenues hard.
Still, I think it could be argued that at current prices these risks are baked into Fresnillo’s share price. And from a long-term perspective, I’m encouraged by its efforts to build a raft of low-cost mines inside and outside of Mexico. I think they might deliver handsome profits in the years ahead.
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- IAG stock – clear for take-off?
- Here’s my verdict on 3 FTSE travel stocks after new Omicron-related restrictions were announced!
- 1 top stock I’d buy and 1 I’d avoid with Omicron risks ahead
- Here’s what I think will happen to the IAG share price in 2022
- Should I buy IAG shares today?
Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Fresnillo. 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.