Short-sighted downgrade

Shares in Poundland (LSE: PLND) haven’t done too well since the cut-price shopping chain came to market in March 2014. The timing didn’t seem unreasonable, with the UK coming out of recession and a bit of optimism appearing, but Poundland shares started to fall in August 2015, and now they’re down 55% to 174p since flotation.

The company’s acquisition of 99p Stores looks set to contribute to a 37% fall in EPS this year, but I think any downgrading of the shares on that basis is short-sighted. I know forecasts are hard to evaluate at this early stage, but the 59% rebound predicted for the year to March 2017 followed by a further 22% growth penciled in for the following year would drop the P/E down to around 10.5. It would also provide PEG ratios of 0.2 this year and 0.5 next, with growth investors typically seeing 0.7 and below as a good indicator.

So, on growth fundamentals, Poundland now looks attractive, and there’s a progressive and well-covered dividend to be had too. The yield based on expectations for the year ended in March this year would only be around 2.5% — results are due on 16 June, with the firm’s Q4 update calling it a “transformative” year. But the yield is set to reach 3.9% in two years time. Worth tucking away for a decade? I think so.

No more paper?

Shares in Trinity Mirror (LSE: TNI) seem to be perpetually cheap, and are currently on a forward P/E of only around 3.5. Of course, fears for the future of actual printed newspapers weigh heavily on the company, especially after the failure of The New Day which only lasted nine weeks before the plug was pulled.

But the company has been on the acquisition trail, owns an increasing stable of online publications, and its fundamentals actually don’t look too bad at all. Earnings are expected to grow this year and next, albeit slowly, and dividend yields (which would be covered more than fivefold by earnings) of 4.7% and 5.3% are predicted for the two years.

I reckon reports of the demise of the company are greatly exaggerated, and for long-term investors I think there’s profitable life in Trinity Mirror shares yet.

Change of focus

Helical Bar (LSE: HLCL) is a property investment and development group, and it has recently switched its focus towards the London market — and in results released on Tuesday it reported record pre-tax profits of £120.1m for the year ended in March. The company’s property portfolio is now apparently valued at £1.23bn, which is a 21% improvement on a year previously.

As he ends his 32-year tenure as chief executive, Michael Slade said that

Since 2012, we have targeted an income producing investment portfolio representing at least 75% of our total property assets with our development programme making up the remaining 25% which is capable of producing exceptional profits

and told us the firm has exceeded its targets.

Mr Slade did point to a possible Brexit from the EU as presenting risks, but Helical Bar looks like one of those companies that is genuinely looking at the long-term prospects for its business, and that can only be a good thing.

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Alan Oscroft has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.