Should I buy these 2 cheap UK shares for September?

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Safestore Holdings (LSE: SAFE) is a cheap UK share I’m paying close attention to right now. In fact I’m thinking of buying it in anticipation of another solid trading update on Tuesday, 7 September.

Demand for self-storage space is booming in Britain and so City analysts think earnings at Safestore will rise 35% in this financial year. Consequently the FTSE 250 company trades on a forward price-to-earnings growth (PEG) ratio of 0.9. A reminder that a reading below 1 suggests a stock could be undervalued by the investment community.

There are various reasons why the British self-storage industry is growing rapidly. These include a strong housing market, people requiring extra storage space as they undertake DIY projects, and businesses needing space to store stock as e-commerce takes off and shops implement social distancing measures.

Yet the domestic self-storage industry still has plenty of room left to grow. The Self-storage Association notes that there is just 0.68 square feet of storage space per head of population in Britain. That lags the 9.4 square feet of space recorded in the US by quite a distance. And Safestore is expanding rapidly to make the most of this opportunity. The business saw revenues leap 11.1% in the six months to April, latest financials showed.

Demand for Safestore’s storage units could start to slump if the economic recovery continues to stutter. However, I think this cheap UK share’s ultra-low PEG ratio more than reflects this potential threat.

Another cheap UK share on my buy list?

I’m not tempted to buy De La Rue (LSE: DLAR) shares for September, however. That’s even after considering that an expected 300%-plus earnings recovery this fiscal year leaves the money printer trading on a forward PEG ratio of just 0.1.

Money and passport printer De La Rue’s turnaround strategy is making waves right now. Costs are coming down and the company is splashing the cash in fast-growing areas of the business. De La Rue is doubling polymer banknote printing capacity to harness soaring demand for plastic-based cash. It’s also investing heavily in technology at its Authentication division, a part of the business which is growing solidly as the problem of illicit trade worsens.

That being said, I’m still concerned about De La Rue’s long-term future as our increasingly ‘cashless’ society casts a shadow over the firm’s core operations. The Covid-19 emergency has hastened the decline of physical money as people have sought to minimise the risk of infection. And legislators are taking steps to make it easier to buy things without cash. Today, for example, the UK government announced it was raising the contactless limit to £100 from October.

Changing customer habits when it comes to making in-person payments, growing investment in payment technology by banks and tech giants like Apple and Google, allied with the rapid rise of e-commerce, all create huge risks for De La Rue to overcome. Some would argue that these risks are baked into this cheap UK share’s earnings multiple. But for me the small cap company remains a risk too far.

The post Should I buy these 2 cheap UK shares for September? appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.

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Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of and has recommended Apple. The Motley Fool UK has recommended De La Rue and has recommended the following options: long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple and short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple. 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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