Informa (LSE: INF) is a stock that I’ve maintained my hugely-bullish take on, even as the broader market has been selling out.
Since hitting its record closing peaks of 859p per share back in July, the FTSE 100 share has seen its market value sink 14%. This is something of a mystery in my book, particularly since City analysts have been frantically upgrading their earnings forecasts since the spring, in response to the media mammoth’s strong trading statements in that time.
More fool those sellers, I say. With Informa currently dealing on an undemanding forward P/E ratio of 15.3 times, I reckon now’s a great time for investors to nip in and grab a bargain.
A true showstopper
Latest trading details uncorked last week have shown why a material re-rating of the company’s shares is long overdue. Informa declared that trading had remained in line with expectations during the 10 months to October, with underlying revenues having risen 3.9% in the period.
The macroeconomic environment may be uncertain, but this is not filtering through to make conditions more difficult for exhibitions organisers like Informa. Underlying revenues at its Global Exhibitions division still rose 6.9% during January to October, and the outlook remains strong for next year and thereafter, too, with the company advising that it has continued to enjoy “strong advanced bookings into 2019.”
A reflection of these robust market conditions means that City analysts are now forecasting further earnings growth of 4% for 2018, and 7% for 2019, meaning that Informa’s long-running progressive dividend policy is anticipated to remain in business as well.
Last year’s 20.45p per share payout is predicted to rise to 21.5p in the present period, and again to 23.1p in 2019. Consequently yields sit at a chubby 2.9% for 2018, and 3.1% for 2019.
Those stunning 6% yields
Through its broad geographic footprint spanning the US, Asia and Europe, Informa shareholders should take confidence that the Footsie firm has the flexibility to weather any troubles facing the economy, and keep growing dividends in the near-term and beyond.
I’m confident that the same can be said for HSBC Holdings (LSE: HSBA) although, as I’ve discussed before, I believe the bank’s bulky exposure to Asia constitutes the cornerstone to its bright investment outlook.
My belief was reinforced by forecast-busting third-quarter financials released in late October, too, in which HSBC announced that adjusted pre-tax profit shot 16% higher in the three months to September, to $6.2bn. And this was underpinned by a 13% profits jump for its Asian operations, which climbed to $4.5bn.
As earnings surge across the globe, City analysts expect HSBC’s earnings to sail 50% this year, and by 5% in 2019, figures that support anticipated dividends of 51 US cents and 52 cents for these respective years.
Yields sit at a monster 6.1% through to the close of 2019 as a result, a figure that should make all savvy dividend investors sit up and take notice, in my opinion. In fact, with the banking behemoth also boasting a cut-price prospective P/E ratio of 11.7 times, I reckon it’s one of the best income shares on the Footsie right now.