This stock could be 1 of my best shares to buy for long-term growth and returns!

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Finding the best shares to buy is a core part of my investment strategy. I believe Macfarlane Group (LSE:MACF) is a stock that could grow exponentially over the years as well as provide consistent returns. Could now be a good time for me to buy the shares? Let’s take a look.

Packaging and labelling

As a quick introduction, Macfarlane is a packaging and labelling business based in Scotland. After being established over 70 years ago, it has grown into one of the largest distributors of packaging products in the UK with over 1,000 employees. It also sells its products into Europe and the US.

So what’s happening with Macfarlane shares currently? Well, as I write, they’re trading for 118p. At this time last year, the stock was trading for 112p, which equates to a 5% return over a 12-month period.

The best shares to buy have risks too

The biggest risks to Macfarlane’s growth currently are macroeconomic headwinds. Soaring inflation has led to rising cost of raw materials. Furthermore, there is currently a global supply chain crisis that has affected many sectors and industries.

Macfarlane could be adversely affected by rising materials costs. Packaging products require lots of raw materials to manufacture. These rising costs could squeeze profit margins, which in turn could affect performance and investor returns. If it decides to put prices up, it could lose business to competitors too.

The global supply chain crisis has led to many businesses being unable to provide products to their customers. Macfarlane’s sales, performance, and returns could be affected if this crisis continues.

The bull case

So to the positives then. Firstly, the packaging and labelling market has grown massively in recent years. This is linked to the e-commerce boom and the explosion of online shopping, which has been exacerbated by the pandemic. Macfarlane should be able to leverage its dominant market position to grow its business and performance.

Next, let’s take a look at Macfarlane’s performance, although I do understand that past performance is not a guarantee of the future. Looking back, Macfarlane has grown revenue and profit in three out of the past four years. The only year when levels dropped was 2020, this was due to the pandemic. 2021 performance was higher than pre-pandemic levels, which is encouraging.

So on to the Macfarlane share price. At current levels, the shares look decent value for money on a price-to-earnings ratio of 13. Many of my best shares to buy have pulled back in the past few months which has thrown up some bargain buys.

Finally, Macfarlane shares would boost my passive income stream through dividend payments. The current dividend yield on offer is 2.7%, which is higher than the FTSE 250 average of just under 2%. I am aware that dividends can be cancelled at any time, however.

Overall I do believe that Macfarlane shares could be a great addition to my holdings for long-term growth and consistent returns. I would buy the shares and hold on to them.

The post This stock could be 1 of my best shares to buy for long-term growth and returns! appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.

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Jabran Khan has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Macfarlane Group. 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.