British housebuilder Bovis Homes (LSE: BVS) has enjoyed tremendous success in recent times posting double-digit earnings growth in each of the last five years as part of a widespreaad boom in the housebuilding sector as a whole. The FTSE 250 group’s revenues have rocketed from £365m in 2011 to £947m for the last full financial year, with pre-tax profits leaping from £32m to £160m over the same period. The company’s shares have also enjoyed spectacular gains, rising from just below 400p in 2012 to post-recession highs above 1,200p last year.
Slowdown in growth
Since then it’s all been downhill for the Longfield-based firm, with the pace of growth set to slow this year, bringing the share price down to today’s levels around 770p. But notwithstanding the uncertainty surrounding the impact of the Brexit vote, brokers’ estimates suggest that Bovis will deliver 14% growth in underlying profits in 2016 with revenues breaking through the £1bn barrier by the end of the year.
If analysts’ projections prove to be correct, then dividends are also set to improve, with last year’s full-year payout of 40p per share increasing to 44.78p, leaving a very tasty yield of 5.7%. For me Bovis looks like a sound contrarian buy with a price-to-earnings ratio of just seven, a rising dividend covered twice by forecast earnings, and a prospective yield approaching 6%.
International property services company Savills (LSE: SVS) has also been experiencing something of a downturn over the past year or so. In the aftermath of the June referendum, the company’s shares collapsed to three-year lows, but have since recovered as bargain hunters took advantage of the post-Brexit vote sell-off. Nevertheless, Savills is still trading at a 27% discount to the dizzy heights of 986p from last summer, as analysts’ projections point to a year without earnings growth for the first time since 2009.
In its last update the mid-cap firm reported an 11.5% improvement in underlying pre-tax profits from £38.4m to £42.8m for the first six months of the year. And revenue rose 14% to £622.7m, driven by a strong performance in its residential markets in the UK, Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. However, this was offset by a fall in the number of commercial transactions due to nervousness in the lead-up to the EU referendum.
In my opinion Savills still looks oversold, with a return to growth anticipated next year and the shares trading at just 11 times forecast earnings. Furthermore, the company has been increasing its dividend payouts in recent years, with a substantial increase on the cards for the current year, propelling the yield to FTSE 100 levels at 3.5%, and covered two-and-a-half times by earnings. Savills looks like a buy for value investors and contrarians, with the added attraction of a rising dividend with plenty of room for growth.