Why Growth Hunters Need To Check Out Britvic Plc, The Sage Group plc & British American Tobacco plc

Royston Wild looks at the earnings prospects of Britvic Plc (LON: BVIC), The Sage Group plc (LON: SGE) and British American Tobacco plc (LON: BATS).

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Today I am spelling out the hot growth potential of three London-listed lovelies.

A bubbling beauty

Shares in drinks giant Britvic (LSE: BVIC) have endured a torrid time of late, the stock plunging to its cheapest since last September due to eroding risk appetite. But shares have bounced 4% in Wednesday business thanks to a broadly-positive trading update, and even though further turbulence may be on the cards I reckon the firm is a strong long-term share selection.

Britvic announced that revenues advanced 4.8% during the 20 weeks to December 20th, to £311.6m, although on an organic basis the figure declined 2.4% to £290.1m thanks to difficult trading conditions in Europe.

Still, the drinks play affirmed its earnings guidance of £180m-£190m for 2016, and expects cost-saving measures and product investment to pay off handsomely. And I believe Britvic’s expansion in both developed and emerging markets — the firm is due to roll out its ‘Fruit Shoot’ range in the US in the coming months — to deliver solid returns in the coming years.

 In the meantime, the City expects Britvic to keep earnings rolling with a 6% advance in the year to September 2016, resulting in a very attractive P/E rating of 14.4 times. And a predicted dividend of 24.1p per share creates a handy yield of 3.4%.

A software star

Software builders Sage (LSE: SGE) also greeted the market with strong financial numbers in midweek trade, a development that drove also share values 4% higher from Tuesday’s close.

The Newcastle-based business advised that organic revenues leapt 6.6% between October and December, with organic recurring revenues leaping 10.4% in the period. This result was driven by robust software subscription sales — demand here galloped 35.7% in the quarter.

Although software and software-related services revenue drooped 5.3% in the period as Sage moves to a subscription-related model, the firm remains confident of recording a 6% organic revenues rise and a 27% operating margin for the full year to September 2016.

The calculator bashers expect Sage to record a 5% earnings advance in fiscal 2016, resulting in a slightly-high P/E rating of 23.3 times. But I reckon the company’s market-leading software and solid pan-global presence fully merits this premium.

A tobacco titan

In periods of macroeconomic turbulence such as these, tobacco stocks like British American Tobacco (LSE: BATS) have often proved a wise investment destination thanks to the defensive nature of their operations.

Through exceptional brand strength — British American Tobacco counts Lucky Strike and Pall Mall amongst its stable of products — the company is able to keep revenues ticking higher even as wider economic troubles pressure consumer wallets.

And while global cigarette volumes are steadily sliding, British American Tobacco is chucking vast sums at the development and marketing of these labels to keep its own sales ticking higher. And as wealth levels in critical developing markets explode — regions that are home to the vast majority of the world’s smokers — I reckon the top line should keep on chugging higher at the cigarette giant.

The City expects British American Tobacco to record a 7% earnings advance in 2016, resulting in a reasonable P/E rating of 17 times. But it is in the dividend stakes where the London firm really blows away the competition — a projected payout of 164.3p per share creates a delicious 4.3% yield.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

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

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