2 UK shares to buy today

When I am looking for UK shares to buy for my portfolio, I concentrate on finding companies with attractive growth prospects. 

With that in mind, here are three companies that stand out to me as undervalued growth opportunities. 

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Shares to buy for growth

The first company I would buy for my portfolio is the estate agent group Foxtons (LSE: FOXT). This organisation is currently riding the UK housing boom and investing windfall profits in further growth.

For the six months to the end of June, group adjusted operating profit hit £5.2m, a substantial improvement on the £0.9m reported for the first half of 2019. In fact, this is the first time the company has reported a sustainable profit since 2017. 

During the first half, the group also acquired Douglas & Gordon Estate Agents for £14.3m. This deal substantially increased Foxtons’ lettings business, bringing a total of 2,900 tenancies onto the books. This should provide a more sustainable, recurring income stream for the enterprise in the future. 

As well as acquisitions, Foxtons is returning some of its windfall to investors with share repurchases and dividends. Analysts have pencilled in a dividend yield of 1.7% for the stock next year. 

Some risks the group may face as we advance include higher interest rates, which could lead to a property market downturn. Further regulations for the rental market may also increase costs and dent profitability. 

Despite these potential headwinds, I think Foxtons is one of the best UK shares to buy today and would acquire the stock for my portfolio. 

A champion of UK shares

Another company that seems to be firing on all cylinders is Bloomsbury Publishing (LSE: BMY).

The leading independent publisher has benefited from a renewed interest in reading during the pandemic. Revenues during the first half of 2021 jumped 29%, and profit before taxation increased 265%

The company’s largest division is its consumer books business, which makes up around two-thirds of revenue. However, management has ambitious plans to grow the group’s non-consumer, academic and professional books business substantially over the next few years.

In particular, management is targeting revenues of £15m for the Bloomsbury Digital Resources business in the 2021/22 financial year and growth of 50% over the following five years. 

This expansion should help support growth from the consumer business, which is being complemented by acquisitions. Indeed, during the first half, Bloomsbury acquired publishing peer Head of Zeus. The deal bought with it the rights to the Sunday Times bestseller The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper. 

As well as Bloomsbury’s growth potential, I am also excited by the stocks dividend yield. It currently stands at 2.7% and is supported by cash on the balance sheet of £44m. Those are the reasons I would buy the stock today.

Challenges the organisation may face include rising costs due to inflation and threats from online as well as international competition. Both of these headwinds could weigh on growth. 

Rupert Hargreaves has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Bloomsbury Publishing. 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.

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