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Cheap UK stocks! Should I buy these 5 popular AIM shares now?

Number 5 foil balloon and gold confetti on black.

Like most investors, I’m always on the lookout for cheap UK stocks. Some believe that Alternative Investment Market (AIM) shares offer the best value.

Listed below are the five most traded stocks on AIM in 2022. Their popularity implies that investors believe them to be something of a bargain. Are they right?

Stock Value of trades 2022 (£trn) Number of trades Current market cap (£m)
Boohoo 1.830 689,364 595
ITM Power 1.802 656,853 568
Jet2 1.592 413,686 2,350
Fevertree 1.427 440,635 1,220
Serica Energy 1.250 273,175 749

A quick rundown

The share price of boohoo, the online retailer, is down nearly 60% over the past 12 months. This could imply that the stock is undervalued, or that investors are concerned about the company’s future earnings potential. Looking at the financials, it appears to be the latter. Sales are increasing but profits are declining. A trading update is due today so it will be interesting to see what the latest position is.

ITM Power‘s share price has also tumbled recently. Its down 72% over the past year and, on Monday, fell 12%. The company changed its chief executive in December and, following a detailed review of its operations, believes that the results for the current financial year will be “materially different” from previous expectations. This is particularly disappointing given that the company is involved in the production of green hydrogen, which is often described as the fuel of the future.

Jet2 is the UK’s third-largest airline. Its shares are down 12% since January 2022. The company suffered hugely from the pandemic, flying 1.3m passengers in the year to March 2021, compared to 14.6m during the previous year. The latest update suggests that a recovery is underway — 11.2m people flew in the six months to September 2022. Presumably, this is why the stock is so popular with investors. The directors appear confident about the future, and currently have 98 new aircraft on order.

Fevertree claims to be the number one global premium mixer brand. Its share price has fallen 60% over the past year. Looking at the company’s results, it’s not clear why. Both sales and operating profits are rising. However, its price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio is approaching 32, evidence that the shares are very expensive right now.

Serica Energy‘s stock is the only one of the five to have increased over the past 12 months (up 16%). The company is a North Sea oil and gas producer. With 85% of its production being natural gas, revenues and profits have grown enormously in the wake of rising energy prices. The stock is particularly attractive due to its 6% dividend yield, another possible indicator of value for money.

Are there any bargains here?

Personally, I believe ITM Power has better prospects than boohoo. But, I won’t be investing in either until I see a clearer path to improved profitability.

Wholesale gas prices are starting to fall, so I’ve probably left it too late to make a decent return from a stake in Serica Energy.

Fevertree is a solid company but its shares don’t look cheap to me.

My favourite of the five AIM stocks is Jet2. Its shares are 43% down from the all-time high, achieved in February 2020, just before the world started to shut down due to Covid-19. I’m therefore going to include the stock on my watch list, with a view to investing when I’ve some spare cash.

The post Cheap UK stocks! Should I buy these 5 popular AIM shares now? appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.

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James Beard has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Boohoo Group Plc and Fevertree Drinks Plc. 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.