After I last recommended JD Sports Fashion (LSE: JD) in March, the company’s share price went gone on to reach new all-time highs and deliver an astonishing 13-fold increase in just five years. But in more recent months, the shares have suffered a remarkable turn of fortune, shedding more than a fifth of their value since May. With many popular high street retailers currently in a slump, could this be the perfect time to sell up?
The Lancashire-based retailer and distributor of branded sportswear and fashionwear, today reported another record result for the half year. Pre-tax profits soared by a further 33% to £102.7m, compared to the £77.4m posted for the first six months of 2016/17. Total group revenue came in at £1.4bn, a 41% improvement on the £971m achieved a year earlier. The news sent the shares soaring 9% higher by late afternoon.
The FTSE 250 group now boasts more than 1,200 stores worldwide and still continues to expand rapidly. During the 26-week period to July there was a net increase of 40 JD stores, of which 12 were in the UK and Ireland, with a further 23 in mainland Europe. A similar number of net new stores is expected across mainland Europe in the second half. Further afield, the group opened its first stores in Australia and added two more in Malaysia.
Bucking the trend
The business’s robust performance of late seems to be bucking the trend among high street retailers, and I have no reason to believe this won’t continue. So far in the second half, trading has continued at similar levels to the first six months, and the group now expects year-end sales figures to be towards the upper end of market expectations, currently in the range £268m-£290m.
I see the recent share price slump as an opportunity to buy at a very opportune moment, with the shares now trading at a very reasonable 15 times earnings, falling to 14 times next year.
Partner of choice
Another London-listed mid-cap firm that I believe has excellent growth potential is UDG Healthcare (LSE: UDG). Over the years, the Dublin-based healthcare services provider has grown to become a leading partner of choice for the global healthcare industry, delivering commercial, clinical, communications, and packaging services wordwide.
The group continues to expand its footprint having committed no less than $200m since the start of the financial year to the acquisitions of STEM, Sellxpert, Vynamic, Cambridge BioMarketing and a US packaging facility. A strong balance sheet should leave it well positioned to continue with this acquisition strategy and deliver further growth.
UDG’s shares have performed well since I last recommended them(also in March), gaining around 20%. But even at a lofty 31 times earnings I believe they still represent good value given the prospects for further long-term growth.