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Why I’d buy this growth stock alongside Sirius Minerals plc

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The story for Sirius Minerals (LSE: SXX) is of its huge polyhalite potash deposits under the North York Moors, for which it has all the necessary approvals signed.

The only thing for investors to do now is sit and wait, and we’ll be waiting for a few years yet before the first ounce of the stuff is shipped commercially. So why is the share price chart looking like a very spiky thing?

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It’s common with growth stocks that are still in their investment phase, where prices typically jump when there’s a release of news and then fall back slowly afterwards — and it’s happening with Sirius, even though the firm is providing regularly timed updates to try to even out the news flow.

The latest development update at the end of September essentially just assured us that the project “remains on time and on budget.” Other than that it’s mostly technical stuff, but I was struck by the fact that almost a million man hours of total project activity has now taken place.

Another agreement

Sirius has also struck a new deal for offtake of its potash with agribusiness company Wilmar Group for resale in southeast Asia, which would see volumes ramping up to 750,000 tonnes per year over an initial seven years — and there are options to extend the timescale and increase volumes.

That’s why I’m happy to hold my Sirius shares for the next five to 10 years or more — it’s the enthusiasm for buyers to get their hands on this rich fertiliser material. And short-term price volatility could be handy, as I’ll be tempted to top up during dips.

Price spike

Shares in another growth stock I’m watching, On The Beach (LSE: OTB), are up 7.7% as I write to 430p.

That’s in response to a 34% rise in full-year adjusted pre-tax profit to £28.5m, coming from a 17% rise in revenue to £83.6m, and leading to a 35% leap in adjusted pro forma earnings per share to 17.6p.

That enabled the company to lift its dividend by 27% to 2.8p per share, which is an extra reason for me to like what is currently very much a growth share. True, the yield comes in at under 1%, but it’s covered more than six times by earnings and to me that suggests serious long-term cash prospects.

But right now On The Beach, which specialises in short-haul beach holidays, is already in a strong enough position to expand by acquisition, having this year made its first significant takeover, of Sunshine.co.uk.

New markets

Geographic expansion is continuing too, as the company intends to enter the Danish market in early 2018, following on from its existing new markets of Norway and Sweden — I guess if you’re selling beach holidays, it pays to sell to cold countries first.

It only came to market in September 2015, and its share price has already almost doubled.

But what I like at this stage is that the shares have not reached the big overvaluation we often see when investors pile into the latest hot growth stock. And we’re looking at a forward P/E of only around 19 based on forecasts for a 25% EPS rise in the coming year.

I reckon On The Beach could turn out to be one of 2017’s top growth picks.

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Alan Oscroft owns shares in Sirius Minerals. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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