3 Smart-Money Growth Stocks: Unilever plc, Standard Chartered PLC & BT Group plc


With the FTSE 100 close to its all-time high, you may be struggling to find stocks that offer strong growth prospects at a reasonable price. With that in mind, here are three well-known FTSE 100 companies that appear to tick those boxes and could, as a result, make a positive contribution to your portfolio return.


It’s been a positive year for investors in Unilever (LSE: ULVR), with the consumer goods company seeing its share price rise by 6% since the turn of the year. Partly as a result of this, its price to earnings (P/E) ratio has expanded somewhat so that it now sits at 20.4, which could lead many investors to deem that its shares are overpriced. However, Unilever has traded at much higher ratings in the past and, after a ‘wobble’ earlier in the year when the sustainability of the emerging market growth story caused sentiment to weaken, it could be in the midst of a more upbeat period.

Certainly, its long term future looks highly appealing and, as soon as next year, Unilever looks set to deliver earnings growth of 9%. This, as well as the potential for an even higher P/E, could mean that the stock continues its upward trajectory for a good while longer.

Standard Chartered

Unlike Unilever, Standard Chartered (LSE: STAN) has endured a challenging 2014. Shares in the Asia-focused bank have fallen by 10% since the turn of the year, with a fall in profit of 20% for the first half of the year being a key reason for this. In addition, until recently the possibility of a fine was dampening sentiment somewhat, which has at least partly contributed to 2014’s disappointing share price performance. However, shares in the bank continue to offer a potent mix of growth and value. They trade on a P/E of just 11.2 and the bank is forecast to increase its bottom line by as much as 10% next year. As a result, Standard Chartered could prove to be a smart buy.


BT’s (LSE: BT-A) fight with Sky for the rights to screen UK sports appears to be in its infancy. Indeed, Sky is taking the threat seriously, as shown with its potential acquisition of Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland. However, BT seems to be making headway in the battle, with its earnings all set to increase by 7% next year despite the initial investment that is required to gain access to the highly lucrative sports TV market. In addition, shares in BT trade on a P/E of just 13.2, which is below the FTSE 100’s P/E of 13.8 and this shows that they could be subject to an upward rating adjustment moving forward.

Of course, Unilever, Standard Chartered and BT aren't the only companies that could be worth buying. That's why we've written a free and without obligation guide to where we think the smart money is headed.

The guide is simple, straightforward and actionable - you can put it to use on your own portfolio right away. It could help to make 2014 and beyond even more prosperous years for your investments.

Click here to access your copy of the guide - it's completely free and comes without any further obligation.

Peter Stephens has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended shares in Sky, and owns shares of Standard Chartered and Unilever. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.