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Should you snap up this great growth and dividend stock combo?

Image: Metro Bank: fair use

Ah, that perennial question of whether to go for the potential excitement of growth shares or the heartwarming comfort of big dividends? With a well-balanced portfolio, there’s really no need to choose, so why not go for both?

Media on the mend

Shares in Centaur Media (LSE: CAU) have had a rotten year, falling 43% to 44.5p — but at least that includes a 1.7% uptick today as a result of the firm’s latest quarterly update, and we’ve seen a 33% recovery since the year’s low in early July.

Centaur, which does business to business information and events management, reported a 10% rise in digital revenues in Q3, with Legal services leading the way. Live event revenues gained 20%, with a nice 19% boost from the London Homebuilding Show.

The only downer was from advertising revenue, which fell 12% as print advertising revenue plunged by 21%. But overall, the firm says its cost reduction plan is going well, cashflow is good, and it’s on track to meet market expectations for the full year.

And that’s where dividends come in, with an attractive yield of 6.7% forecast for this year and similar for 2017. The risk at the moment seems to be covered by earnings, which would amount to only 1.45 times this year as earnings are expected to fall by 20% — and that seems too low for comfort for a company that’s been showing slightly erratic earnings. But a predicted recovery in 2017 earnings would see cover rising to 1.7 times, which is a good bit healthier.

Any company with a market cap as low as £64m is risky. But a low forward P/E of 10 this year, dropping to 8.5 next, makes me think there’s enough in dividends and in undervaluation to make Centaur a risk worth taking.

Challenger bank

With the UK’s big banks facing a post-Brexit rout, the time seems ripe for the so-called challenger banks to rise. Virgin Money is perhaps the best known, but I think we could be seeing a nice little growth investment in Metro Bank (LSE: MTRO).

Metro Bank only floated in March this year, and since then its shares are up 27% to 2,736p. The EU referendum result did send them down along with the rest of the sector, but if you’d got in immediately after on 27 June, you’d be sitting on a cracking 67% profit today.

A third-quarter update didn’t really move the share price as it’s pretty much in line with expectations, but we’re still looking at an impressive start to life as a public company — with deposits up 66% year-on-year, lending up 73%, revenues up 78%, and customer numbers up by 68,000 to 848,000.

And after a £3.4m loss was recorded in the second quarter, Metro made an underlying pre-tax profit of £0.6m in Q3, which should be the turning point. There’s still a loss on the cards for the full year, but analysts are predicting earnings of 25p to 26p per share for 2017.

Metro Bank, like Virgin Money, isn’t saddled with any of the legacy issues of its giant rivals. And with its focus entirely on the UK retail market and with the potential to growth rapidly from a very small base, I reckon this could be a great growth opportunity. There are no dividends on the horizon yet, obviously, but they surely can’t be too far in the future.

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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.