IWG (LSE: IWG) found itself sinking in Tuesday trading after a disappointing reaction to half-year numbers. The stock was last dealing 8% lower on the day after hitting four-and-a-half-month troughs earlier in the session.
The workspace provider, which was known as Regus up until fairly recently, announced that revenues at constant currencies slipped 0.4% during January-June, at £1.17bn. As a result the business saw pre-tax profit rattle 4% lower year-on-year, to £80.8m.
Despite this patchy first-half result however, the company remains optimistic with sales moving higher again more recently. Chief executive Mark Dixon commented that “as expected the improving trend in sales activity at the beginning of the year has led to a gradual improvement in revenue growth throughout the first half, with IWG returning to growth in Q2._
He added: “Current sales activity remains robust and we are therefore confident that our mature business will see growth over the second half of 2017.”
Dixon also noted that with revenues back on the rise and costs coming down (overheads fell 14% during January-June, to 124.3m), the company expects strong cash generation during the second half.
And as a result, IWG elected to raise the interim dividend 13% to 1.75p per share.
The City expects IWG to generate earnings growth of 21% and 20% in 2017 and 2018 respectively. And in my opinion these forecasts make the business sterling value for money.
Sure, a forward P/E ratio of 17.5 times may sit above the widely-considered value watermark of 15 times. But a sub-1 PEG rating of 0.8 times suggests the company is actually attractively valued relative to its growth prospects.
Today’s update could prompt a slight trimming of these forecasts. But I remain convinced IWG’s position as market leader in the fast-growing workspace-as-a-service segment (the company operates in almost 3,000 locations across the globe) should lead to resplendent earnings growth in the years ahead.
AB Dynamics (LSE: ABDP) is another London-quoted stock I am backing to deliver sterling bottom-line expansion.
The number crunchers expect growth to be relatively modest in the more immediate term, and have chalked in growth of 3% in the year to 2017. But profits are expected to really stomp higher from next year, and a 22% advance is expected for fiscal 2018.
A P/E multiple of 21.5 times for the upcoming year may look pretty uninspiring at first glance, and quite rightly. But a forward PEG rating of 1 suggests AB Dynamics should be drawing admiring glances from value chasers on the hunt for hot growth stars.
The company, which creates testing and measuring instrumentation for the auto industry, is benefitting from the vast sums the world’s carbuilders are ploughing into R&D. This trend helped power revenues at AB Dynamics 9% higher in the six months to February, to £11m, and pre-tax profits also 9% higher to £2.5m.
And following its recent £6m equity fundraising, the tech titan has plenty of money to develop the next wave of products and to support its growing customer base. I believe the company has what it takes to keep delivering knockout earnings growth.