I believe Shire (LSE: SHP) is in great shape to deliver splendid shareholder returns as demand for its drugs takes off.
While third quarter results may have missed expectations, the pharma ace saw sales excluding the impact of the recently-acquired Baxalta rip 12% higher during July-September. Shire reported a “very strong start” for its Xiidra ophthalmic treatment, and its promising pipeline includes further potential for its go-to area of treating ADD.
The City expects earnings at Shire to detonate 95% in 2016, helped by the aforementioned acquisition, and a consequent P/E ratio of 13.2 times slicing through the FTSE 100 forward average of 15 times. Furthermore, a predicted 19% advance next year drives the multiple to a mere 11.1 times.
Dividend chasers may be less enamoured by Shire’s dividend outlook however, the firm carrying yields of 0.5% for this year and 0.6% for 2017. However, current forecasts confirm it as one of the hottest growth dividend bets out there — 2015’s reward of 29.37 US cents per share is expected to leap to 30.8 cents this year and to 36.4 cents in 2017.
But the medicines mammoth isn’t the only Footsie stock with dynamite dividend potential. Indeed, the number crunchers also expect payouts at Babcock International (LSE: BAB) to continue shooting higher in the years ahead.
The support services colossus is predicted to hike last year’s 25.8p per share dividend to 28p in the 12 months to March 2017, and again to 30.4p next year. Consequently the yield canters to a chunky 3.2% for next year from 3% for 2017.
And these spritely projections are underpinned by robust growth projections too. For both 2017 and 2018 Babcock is expected to post earnings advances of 8%, figures that also create ultra-low P/E ratios of 11.7 times and 10.9 times.
Babcock saw organic sales miss analysts’ targets during April-September, reflecting current contract phasing issues and a weak South African economy. Still, I believe the company’s strong order book illustrates the firm’s excellent long-term potential — £2bn worth of new orders pushed the book to £20m in the period. And a bid pipeline of £10.8bn looks set to propel organic growth from 2018.
Show me the money
Broadcasting giant ITV (LSE: ITV) has a rich record of generating double-digit percentage earnings growth. But sinking advertising revenues have seen brokers break out the red pen and reassess their predictions of further heady growth.
Indeed, the City now expects earnings to dip 1% and 2% in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
However, I remain convinced ITV remains an exceptional growth bet for patient investors. The company has a stellar record of outperforming the broader advertising market, but this isn’t the only reason to be optimistic as acquisitions at ITV Studios boost revenues from its production activities, and the firm’s success across both traditional and new media continues.
Despite expectations of some earnings weakness from 2016, current projections still result in exceptional P/E ratios of 10.4 times for this year and 10.6 times for next. I reckon these are tasty levels on which to latch onto the television titan’s long-term growth story.
And ITV also sets itself apart from its big-cap colleagues in the dividend stakes. An estimated 7.3p per share dividend for 2016 — up from 6p last year — yields a smashing 4.3%, beating the FTSE 100 average of 3.5% by a long chalk. And a projected 8.2p payment for 2017 yields an even-better 4.8%.