Shares in Aldermore (LSE: ALD) have surged by 7% today after it released a positive first quarter trading update. The challenger bank recorded a rise in loan origination of 43% versus the prior year as the rush to pile into buy-to-let properties before the stamp duty hike in April caused demand for mortgages to rise. Furthermore, Aldermore posted an increase in business finance origination of 18%, although the loan origination figure was aided mostly by a 60% rise in mortgage origination.
Looking ahead, Aldermore is confident of meeting current year guidance, with the bank forecast to increase its bottom line by 14%. And with further growth of 16% pencilled-in for 2016, Aldermore could benefit from an improvement in investor sentiment as low interest rates make borrowing increasingly attractive.
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With Aldermore trading on a price-to-earnings-growth (PEG) ratio of just 0.4, it seems to offer excellent value for money as well as a wide margin of safety. As such, it seems to be a worthy buy for the long term.
Similarly, financial services peer Standard Chartered (LSE: STAN) also has a bright future. Unlike Aldermore, its recent trading has been very disappointing, with the Asia-focused bank’s bottom line falling into the red in the last financial year. However, with changes to its management team, a more efficient management structure and a renewed focus on compliance, Standard Chartered is expected to bounce back into profitability this year.
While this has the potential to improve investor sentiment in Standard Chartered, what could really excite the market is its growth forecast for next year. That’s because the bank is expected to increase its earnings by 133% in 2017 and with its longer-term future being very bright due to the prospects for increased demand for financial products in Asia, now could be a great time to buy a slice of Standard Chartered. Plus, with it having a PEG ratio of 0.2, it seems to offer a wide margin of safety too.
Meanwhile, shares in real estate investment trust (REIT) Tritax Big Box (LSE: BBOX) have risen by 14% in the last year as investors have remained optimistic about the prospects for the wider property sector. Clearly, an improving UK economy is helping to push rents higher and with Tritax Big Box forecast to increase its bottom line by 7% this year and by a further 4% next year, it seems to be performing relatively well.
However, with the company trading on a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 20.3, its growth potential appears to be fully priced-in. As such, further capital gains may be somewhat limited, while Tritax Big Box’s dividends may struggle to rise at a rapid rate since they’re only covered 1.05 times by profit. Therefore, while the REIT sector may have growth potential, there seem to be better options for long-term investors elsewhere.