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The most popular shares in September

Nicholas Hyett assesses some of the shares most popular with HL clients in September.

Important notes

This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

September was marked by significant uncertainty in global markets. Brexit continues to buffet the UK and Europe, and global trade headwinds led the US Federal Reserve to cut interest rates. With the official Brexit deadline set for the end of October, there could be more to come.

September’s most popular shares

The lists below show the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 shares (excluding investment trusts) with the highest number of net buys (buys minus sells) among HL clients in September. We’ve also included the most popular large* overseas shares (excluding investment trusts and ETFs).

More about international share dealing

Shares listed alphabetically.

*Of equal or greater size than the market capital of the smallest FTSE 350 stock.

These are provided for your interest, but aren’t a guide as to how you should invest. You should consider your own aims and attitude to risk before making any investment decisions, and remember that investments will fall as well as rise in value so you could get back less than you invest. Past performance is not a guide to the future. If you’re not sure if an investment is right for you, please seek advice.


A recent trading update highlighted a potential chink in Diageo’s armour. While full year sales and profit growth are expected to be in the middle of guidance, Diageo said they “would not be immune” to significant global trade disruption.

Both China and the US, key markets for the group, are in the midst of tariff wars. China’s placed tariffs on a host of imported alcohols and the US is threatening to do the same with Scotch whisky. Over the month Diageo’s shares softened 8%.

A global customer base, mixed with every spirit you can name and the fact we tend to drink in both the good times and the bad, means Diageo has proven resilient before. A strong balance sheet is key in times of disruption. Diageo is more indebted than it has been in the past, but at 2.5 times cash profits to net debt, it’s certainly not flashing red.

We think Diageo is a great business. But with price-to-earnings (PE) ratio of 22.8, versus a longer term average of 18.2 times, there’s significant pressure for Diageo to maintain form.

See the Diageo share price and charts

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Who knew the world was crying out for vegan sausage rolls? This new high street staple, along with a rejuvenated breakfast menu, saw profit guidance upgraded three times this year. However, investors were expecting more of the same at July’s half year results, and the lack of a fourth upgrade has seen the shares drift down almost 14% since then.

Despite the disappointment, results in July were by no means negative. Reported total sales were up 14.7%, to £546m, and underlying pre-tax profits increased 58% to £40.6m.

The group’s reinvesting its bumper profits in efforts to develop its offer of later-day eating. Driving extra sales through the same store estate could boost revenues and margins, but stepping into McDonald’s backyard isn’t a guaranteed recipe for success.

See the Greggs share price and charts


Uber’s not had a pleasant ride since listing. The company’s worth $53.7bn, 35% below its initial valuation of $82.4bn.

Recent headwinds include newly announced regulation in California which will force Uber to recognise drivers as employees, not contractors. If that spreads elsewhere, it could upend Uber’s entire business model, increasing costs significantly in a business which is already loss-making. The group’s also facing increased scrutiny in other markets, not least London where it failed to secure a long-term licence.

All that regulatory baggage is less than ideal at a time where the group’s facing increasingly stiff competition. Lyft and Ola are jamming up the market place, and the only way one can get ahead of another is by lowering prices. That’s not an enviable position.

Given the challenges facing the group we see Uber as a higher-risk investment. The market for ride-hailing may be huge, but the group has yet to prove it can pick up passengers at a profit at any kind of scale.

See the Uber share price and charts

Before you can invest in US companies you’ll need to complete a W-8BEN. Find out more about the charges.

Unless otherwise stated estimates, including prospective yields, are a consensus of analyst forecasts provided by Thomson Reuters. These estimates are not a reliable indicator of future performance. Yields are variable and not guaranteed. Past performance is not a guide to the future. Investments rise and fall in value so investors could make a loss.

This article is not advice or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any investment. No view is given on the present or future value or price of any investment, and investors should form their own view on any proposed investment. This article has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is considered a marketing communication. Non-independent research is not subject to FCA rules prohibiting dealing ahead of research, however HL has put controls in place (including dealing restrictions, physical and information barriers) to manage potential conflicts of interest presented by such dealing. Please see our full non-independent research disclosure for more information.

Important notes

This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

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