Expensive but extraordinary! 2 Footsie shares you can’t afford to miss

Royston Wild looks at two Footsie shares that remain scintillating buys despite their heady earnings multiples.

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I believe the stunning sales record of  Sage Group (LSE: SGE) across the globe makes it one to watch for growth investors.

The accounting software specialist saw organic revenues expand 6% during April-June, helping sales for the nine months to June advance 6.1%.

Those concerned by the impact of Brexit would have been encouraged by Sage’s latest statement, the company advising that sales growth was “driven by continued momentum in Europe and North America.” And the software play noted that performance across its other international markets had improved.

Sage expects organic sales to have risen 6% in the year to September 2016, the company buoyed by the success of its transition to a subscription-based pricing structure. And the business is also receiving a boost from recent declines in the value of the pound.

City brokers expect earnings at Sage to have risen 9% in fiscal 2016. And a further advance, this time by 15%, is predicted for the current financial period. This results in a P/E rating of 23.2 times, striding above the FTSE 100 average of 15 times.

Still, I reckon Sage’s leading position in the financial software market makes it worthy of such a high multiple. Besides, the massive investment Sage has made in its SaaS cloud platform could also create even more massive sales opportunities ahead.

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The incredible potential of emerging markets makes Vodafone (LSE: VOD) one of the hottest picks out there for growth hunters, in my opinion.

The telecoms leviathan is experiencing outstanding demand for its voice and data services across Africa, the Middle East and Asia, with aggregate organic sales here rising 7.7% during April-June, to $3.9bn.

While growth of 19.5% in Turkey and 20.3% in Ghana in the quarter grabbed the headlines, it’s the firm’s progress in huge markets like India that is particularly promising — organic revenues here surged 6.4% during the first fiscal quarter, up from 5.3% in the prior three months.

And I expect sales in these regions to remain on a heady upward trajectory as increasing wealth levels power telecoms demand, and Vodafone’s multibillion pound Project Spring infrastructure-building programme pays off.

Previous turmoil in Europe has left a big mark on Vodafone’s bottom line in recent years, the firm failing to punch any sort of growth since the period ending March 2013. But with conditions on the continent improving, and the mobile operator enjoying terrific revenues growth in developing regions, earnings are expected to explode 29% and 14% in fiscal 2017 and 2018 respectively.

While these numbers may create conventionally-high P/E ratios of 34.3 times and 30 times, I reckon this is a fair price to pay for those who, like me, expect profits to keep on surging long into the future.

Besides, a dividend yield of 5.6% to the close of 2018 — sailing above London’s blue-chip average of 3.5% — helps take the sting out of these readings.

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 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.

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