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Should I buy Taylor Wimpey shares for 2023?

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Taylor Wimpey (LSE: TW) shares are well below their 52-week high right now. In February last year, the shares were trading above 150p. Today however, they can be picked up for around 120p.

Is this a good buying opportunity? Or are there better stocks to buy for my portfolio today? Let’s discuss.

Low P/E ratio

Looking at analysts’ earnings forecasts, Taylor Wimpey shares do have a relatively low valuation right now.

Currently, analysts expect the housebuilder to generate earnings per share of 10.4p for 2023. This means that at the current share price, the forward-looking price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio is about 11.6. That’s well below the UK market average (the median FTSE 100 P/E ratio is about 14.4).

The low P/E ratio doesn’t necessarily mean that the stock is a bargain though.

In the near term, Taylor Wimpey is likely to face some very challenging trading conditions. The UK housing market has slowed dramatically in recent months as a result of the spike in mortgage rates and the cost-of-living crisis. This is likely to impact the housebuilder’s top and bottom line.

It’s worth noting here that last month, the FTSE 100 company told investors it will build fewer homes in 2023 than in 2022. It also said its order book was lower than it has been in the recent past.

We enter 2023 with a lower private order book than in recent years and we expect overall volumes to reduce in 2023.

Taylor Wimpey Trading Statement, January 2023

Given the challenging trading conditions the company is facing, and the level of uncertainty present, a low valuation here is appropriate, to my mind. In other words, I don’t see much value on offer here.

Long-term opportunity?

Now it’s worth pointing out that the company was optimistic in relation to its medium- to long-term prospects. This is encouraging. If the housebuilder can weather the near-term economic uncertainty, today’s share price may turn out to be a bargain at some stage down the line.

One issue for me however is the boom/bust nature of the housebuilding industry. History shows that housebuilders tend to experience challenging business conditions on a fairly regular basis. And when they experience these conditions, investors tend to face significant share price losses and big dividend cuts (Taylor Wimpey cut its dividend completely in the Global Financial Crisis and during Covid).

This is not what I’m looking for as an investor. My goal is to invest in high-quality companies that can deliver steady, growing dividends over time and that have a very good chance of delivering strong capital gains over a 10+ year time horizon. Ultimately, housebuilders don’t match that profile.

So I’ll be giving Taylor Wimpey shares a miss this year. All things considered, I think there are better stocks to buy for my portfolio.

The post Should I buy Taylor Wimpey shares for 2023? appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.

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Edward Sheldon has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. 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.