With a market value of only £95m at the time of writing, Proactis Holdings Plc (LSE: PHD) flies under the radar of most investors, but this hidden growth champion shouldn’t be overlooked.
Over the past six years, the company’s revenue has grown steadily from £6.2m in 2011 to £19.4m for fiscal 2016, a compound annual growth rate of 25.4%. Over the same period, reported earnings per share have grown from a loss of 1.8p to a gain of 5.9p. City analysts have pencilled-in further growth this year.
EPS growth of 13% is projected for the financial year ending 31 July 2017 on revenue of £25.4m. And for the year ending 31 July, 2018 analysts are expecting yet more growth with earnings per share set to grow by 23% to 10.2p on revenue of £29.6m.
Proactis is involved in the sale of business software. The company offers software to help businesses streamline invoices and manage their supply networks. Other programs help with capturing data and managing IT networks. This business is extremely lucrative and provides a steady stream of recurring revenues for Proactis.
Selective bolt-on acquisitions have also helped drive growth, and the company has plenty of cash to invest in further growth initiatives. At the end of the fiscal first half, the company reported total debt of £7.6m and cash of £4.9m.
Historically, cash generation has been weighted to the second half, and the company spent £15.7m during the first half of fiscal 2017 on acquisitions. During the second half of the financial year ending 31 July 2016, the company generated £5.2m in cash from operations.
The one downside about shares in Proactis is their valuation. The shares currently trade at a forward P/E of 21.5, falling to 17.8 for the year after. However, after taking into account the company’s explosive growth over the past five years and projected future growth during the next two years, it looks as if it’s certainly worth paying a premium to get your hands on a stake in this company.
Under the radar
Just like Proactis, ULS Technology (LSE: ULS) is a market tiddler with a total value of only £78.3m, but that shouldn’t detract from the company’s success over the years. Indeed, since 2012 the company has grown revenue at a compound annual growth rate of 25.4% and net profit rose at a rate of 30%. Between 2012 and 2016, earnings per share expanded from 1.3p to 3.5p and analysts are projecting earnings per share of 5p for the year that ended on 31 March.
Unfortunately, shares in ULS don’t come cheap, but this is easy to explain considering the company’s explosive growth rate. Shares in ULS currently trade at a forward P/E of 21.2 and support a dividend yield of 2.1%. After factoring in earnings growth, the shares trade at a PEG ratio of 0.6, which signals that they offer growth as a reasonable price for adventurous investors.