How to buy Unilever (ULVR) shares

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a spike in demand for cleaning and personal care products sold by companies like Unilever. So should you buy or sell Unilever shares?

Unilever PLC
LSE: ULVR - GBX
HOUSEHOLD & PERSONAL PRODUCTS
p3,853.50
- p26.50 ( - 0.68%)

Unilever PLC (ULVR) is a leading household and personal products business based in the UK. It opened the day at 4315.5p after a previous close of 4297p. During the day the price has varied from a low of 4273.6909p to a high of 4327p. The latest price was 4295p (25 minute delay). Unilever is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and employs 148,949 staff. All prices are listed in pence sterling.

How to buy shares in Unilever

  1. Choose a platform. If you're a beginner, our share-dealing table below can help you choose.
  2. Open your account. You'll need your ID, bank details and national insurance number.
  3. Confirm your payment details. You'll need to fund your account with a bank transfer, debit card or credit card.
  4. Search the platform for stock code: ULVR in this case.
  5. Research Unilever shares. The platform should provide the latest information available.
  6. Buy your Unilever shares. It's that simple.
The whole process can take as little as 15 minutes.

How has coronavirus impacted Unilever's share price?

Since the stock market crash that started in February 2020, Unilever's share price has had significant negative movement.

Its last market close was 3853.5p, which is 16.10% down on its pre-crash value of 4593p and 7.53% up on the lowest point reached during the March 2020 crash when the shares fell as low as 3583.5p.

If you had bought £1,000 worth of Unilever shares at the start of February 2020, those shares would have been worth £858.46 at the bottom of the March crash, and if you held on to them, then as of the last market close they'd be worth £841.22.

Unilever share price (LSE:ULVR)

Use our graph to track the performance of ULVR stocks over time.

Unilever shares at a glance

Information last updated 2021-07-09.
Open4315.5p
High4327p
Low4273.6909p
Close4295p
Previous close4297p
Change-2p
Change %-0.0465%
Volume2,241,551
Information last updated 2021-10-10.
52-week range3720.3444p - 4942.2371p
50-day moving average3991.5073p
200-day moving average4150.488p
Wall St. target price53.76p
PE ratio22.0817
Dividend yield169.5p (4.38%)
Earnings per share (TTM)175.1p
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Invest in Unilever shares with 0% commission

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Fees for buying 10x Unilever shares with popular platforms

Share prices fluctuate in real time, so the costs presented here should be considered as a guide only. They do not incorporate stamp duty. Always refer to the platform itself for availability and pricing – which may differ from our information.

Platform Platform fee Min. initial deposit Trading fee estimate
Freetrade logo £0 No minimum £0.00
£429.50 total
Capital at risk
eToro Free Stocks logo £0 $50 £0.00
£429.50 total
Capital at risk
Fineco logo £0 No minimum £0.00
£429.50 total
Capital at risk
Degiro Share Dealing logo £0 £0.01 £1.81
£431.31 total
Capital at risk
Hargreaves Lansdown Fund and Share Account logo £0 £1 £11.95
£441.45 total
Capital at risk
interactive investor Trading Account logo £9.99 per month No minimum £7.99
£437.49 total
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Halifax Share Dealing Account logo £36 per year £20 £9.50
£439.00 total
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Full comparison of share dealing platforms

All investing should be regarded as longer term. The value of your investments can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. If you’re not sure which investments are right for you, please seek out a financial adviser. Capital at risk.

Is it a good time to buy Unilever stock?

The technical analysis gauge below displays real-time ratings for the timeframes you select. This is not a recommendation, however. It represents a technical analysis based on the most popular technical indicators: Moving Averages, Oscillators and Pivots. Finder might not concur and takes no responsibility.

Unilever price performance over time

Historical closes compared with the last close of 4295p

1 week (2021-10-07) 10.87%
1 month (2021-09-17) 9.62%
3 months (2021-07-17) 4295
6 months (2021-04-16) 3.15%
1 year (2020-10-16) -11.73%
2 years (2019-10-17) -7.68%
3 years (2018-10-17) 6.73%
5 years (2016-10-17) 22.56%

Is Unilever under- or over-valued?

Valuing a stock is incredibly difficult, and any metric has to be viewed as part of a bigger picture of overall performance. However, analysts commonly use some key metrics to help gauge value.

P/E ratio

Unilever's current share price divided by its per-share earnings (EPS) over a 12-month period gives a "trailing price/earnings ratio" of roughly 22x. In other words, Unilever shares trade at around 22x recent earnings.

That's relatively high compared to, say, the trailing 12-month P/E ratio for the FTSE 250 at the end of September 2019 (19.71). The high P/E ratio could mean that investors are optimistic about the outlook for the shares or simply that they're over-valued.

However, Unilever's P/E ratio is best considered in relation to those of others within the household & personal products industry or those of similar companies.

PEG ratio

Unilever's "price/earnings-to-growth ratio" can be calculated by dividing its P/E ratio by its growth – to give 2.2442. A PEG ratio over 1 can be interpreted as meaning shares are overvalued at the current rate of growth, or may anticipate an acceleration in growth.

The PEG ratio provides a broader view than just the P/E ratio, as it gives more insight into Unilever's future profitability. By accounting for growth, it could also help you if you're comparing the share prices of multiple high-growth companies.

However, it's sensible to consider Unilever's PEG ratio in relation to those of similar companies.

EBITDA

Unilever's EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) is a whopping £10.3 billion.

The EBITDA is a measure of a Unilever's overall financial performance and is widely used to measure a its profitability.

To put that into context you can compare it against similar companies.

Financials

Revenue TTM £50.8 billion
Operating margin TTM 17.98%
Gross profit TTM £22 billion
Return on assets TTM 8.1%
Return on equity TTM 31.46%
Profit margin 10.67%
Book value 6.53p
Market capitalisation £99.8 billion

TTM: trailing 12 months

Environmental, social and governance track record

Environmental, social and governance (known as ESG) criteria are a set of three factors used to measure the sustainability and social impact of companies like Unilever.

Total ESG risk score

Unilever's total ESG risk: 30

Socially conscious investors use ESG scores to screen how an investment aligns with their worldview, and Unilever's overall score of 30 (as at 01/01/2019) is nothing to write home about – landing it in it in the 40th percentile of companies rated in the same sector.

ESG scores are increasingly used to estimate the level of risk a company like Unilever is exposed to within the areas of "environmental" (carbon footprint, resource use etc.), "social" (health and safety, human rights etc.), and "governance" (anti-corruption, tax transparency etc.).

To gain some more context, you can compare Unilever's total ESG risk score against those of similar companies.

Environmental score

Unilever's environmental score: 12.28/100

Unilever's environmental score of 12.28 puts it squarely in the 9th percentile of companies rated in the same sector. This could suggest that Unilever is a leader in its sector terms of its environmental impact, and exposed to a lower level of risk.

Social score

Unilever's social score: 14.46/100

Unilever's social score of 14.46 puts it squarely in the 9th percentile of companies rated in the same sector. This could suggest that Unilever is a leader in its sector when it comes to taking good care of its workforce and the communities it impacts.

Governance score

Unilever's governance score: 13.76/100

Unilever's governance score puts it squarely in the 9th percentile of companies rated in the same sector. That could suggest that Unilever is a leader in its sector when it comes to responsible management and strategy, and exposed to a lower level of risk.

Controversy score

Unilever's controversy score: 3/5

ESG scores also evaluate any incidences of controversy that a company has been involved in. A high-profile company, Unilever scored a 3 out of 5 for controversy – a middle-of-the-table result reflecting that Unilever hasn't always managed to keep its nose clean.

Wondering how that compares? Below are the controversy scores of similar companies.

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) summary

Unilever PLC was last rated for ESG on: 2019-01-01.

Total ESG score 30
Total ESG percentile 40.25
Environmental score 12.28
Environmental score percentile 9
Social score 14.46
Social score percentile 9
Governance score 13.76
Governance score percentile 9
Level of controversy 3

Unilever share dividends

4.4%

Dividend yield: 4.38% of stock value

3.8%

Forward annual dividend yield: 3.82% of stock value

82.0%

Dividend payout ratio: 81.97% of net profits

Unilever has recently paid out dividends equivalent to 4.38% of its share value annually.

Unilever has paid out, on average, around 81.97% of recent net profits as dividends. That has enabled analysts to estimate a "forward annual dividend yield" of 3.82% of the current stock value. This means that over a year, based on recent payouts (which are sadly no guarantee of future payouts), shareholders could enjoy a 3.82% return on their shares, in the form of dividend payments. In Unilever's case, that would currently equate to about 169.5p per share.

Unilever's payout ratio would broadly be considered high, and as such this stock could appeal to those looking to generate an income. Bear in mind however that companies should normally also look to re-invest a decent amount of net profits to ensure future growth.

The latest dividend was paid out to all shareholders who bought their shares by 5 August 2021 (the "ex-dividend date").

Unilever's dividend yield is perhaps best considered in relation to those of similar companies.

Have Unilever's shares ever split?

Unilever's shares were split on a 9:20 basis on 22 May 2006. So if you had owned 20 shares the day before before the split, the next day you'd have owned 9 shares. This wouldn't directly have changed the overall worth of your Unilever shares – just the quantity. However, indirectly, the new 122.2% higher share price could have impacted the market appetite for Unilever shares which in turn could have impacted Unilever's share price.

Share price volatility

Over the last 12 months, Unilever's shares have ranged in value from as little as 3720.3444p up to 4942.2371p. A popular way to gauge a stock's volatility is its "beta".

Beta is a measure of a share's volatility in relation to the market. The market (LSE average) beta is 1, while Unilever's is 0.197. This would suggest that Unilever's shares are less volatile than average (for this exchange).

To put Unilever's beta into context you can compare it against those of similar companies.

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What stock exchanges is Unilever listed on?

In this guide, we've focused on Unilever's London Stock Exchange (LSE) listing. However, Unilever shares can be traded on multiple exchanges.

Country Exchange Stock Code
Indonesia Jakarta Exchange JK: UNVR
India Bombay Exchange BSE: 500696
UK London Exchange LSE: ULVR
US US Stocks US: UN
US US Stocks US: UL
Mexico Mexican Exchange MX: ULN
Germany XETRA Exchange XETRA: UNI2

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