The FTSE 100’s Hottest Growth Stocks: Lloyds Banking Group PLC

Today I am outlining why Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY) (NYSE: LYG.US) could be considered a terrific stock for growth hunters.

New business on the charge

In the aftermath of the 2008/2009 banking crisis, banking goliath Lloyds’ decision to shed its riskier and non-core assets has allowed it to pay greater attention to its British retail operations, and the institution is enjoying splendid business volumes as a result.

Indeed, Lloyds noted in last month’s interims that lending surged across all key customer sectors during January-June, with activity boosted by the development of new products and services. This helped to drive underlying income 4% higher during the period to £9.3bn, and Lloydsunderlying profit consequently galloped 32% higher to £3.8bn.

More specifically, Lloyds continues to solidify its position at the top of the UK mortgage market, and gross new mortgage loans surged to £20m during the first half, up from £14bn during the corresponding 2013 period. And latest data from the British Banking Association suggests that lending should surge further still, with July net loans clocking in at £1.9bn, the highest since August 2010.

Meanwhile, the bank’s Simplification restructuring strategy has also proved immensely successful in boosting the balance sheet and driving profits higher, and Lloyds is on course to enjoy annual savings of £2bn by the close of the year.

Having extensively hollowed out back office expenses, as well as invested heavily in its online and telephone banking operations — a drive which should also help it enjoy rising activity in line with changing consumer habits — this new culture of cost-shedding should stand the firm in good stead for coming years.

Earnings have finally turned the corner

After posting four consecutive years of losses from 2010, Lloyds is finally expected to emerge this year in the black, with City analysts anticipated earnings of 7.6p per share versus losses of 1.2p in 2013. And the business is predicted to maintain this upward trajectory next year, with a 7% improvement — to 8.2p — is currently pencilled in.

These projections leave the institution changing hands on a dirt cheap P/E multiple of 9.4 times prospective earnings for 2014, far below the bargain benchmark of 10 times and beating a forward average of 15.6 for the complete banking sector. And next year’s reading falls to an even more impressive 8.8.

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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.