While Wood Group’s (LSE: WG) share price has fallen by 16% during the course of the last year, the company’s bottom line continues to outperform most of its sector peers. For example, while a lower oil price has caused many oil stocks to post severe declines in profitability, Wood Group is all set to report an increase in its bottom line for 2014 of 21%.
And, while 2015’s forecast decline of 2% is somewhat disappointing, it would still represent a relatively good performance. Furthermore, with Wood Group trading on a price to earnings (P/E) ratio of just 9.1, it seems to be extremely cheap and, although its bottom line may be somewhat volatile moving forward, it seems to be a great buy at the present time.
Although ARM dominates the UK tech scene, sector peer Laird (LSE: LRD) seems to have a very bright future ahead of it. For example, it is forecast to increase its bottom line by 16% in the current year, followed by growth of 11% next year. This, when combined with a P/E ratio of 16.5, equates to a price to earnings growth (PEG) ratio of just 0.9, which indicates that Laird offers growth at a reasonable price.
And, unlike many of its sector peers, Laird has a top notch yield, too. It currently yields 4%, which makes it highly appealing for income investors as well as for growth investors, too.
With there being a consensus among the major political parties regarding house building, now could be a good time to buy house builders such as Redrow (LSE: RDW). Certainly, more houses are required than are currently being built, and this is helping Redrow to increase its bottom line by a forecast 23% next year, and a further 20% in the year after that.
Despite this excellent growth rate, Redrow trades on a P/E ratio of just 9.8. This seems to be unjustifiably cheap when the company’s growth prospects are taken into account and, as such, it could be a top performer moving forward.
Tate & Lyle
While shares in Tate & Lyle (LSE: TATE) have disappointed in the last year, being down 13%, the future could be much brighter for the sugar producer. That’s because it is forecast to make a comeback from a challenging 2015 financial year (when it is forecast to have posted a decline in earnings of 31%) by increasing its bottom line by 18% next year.
And, while Tate & Lyle trades on a relatively high P/E ratio of 17, this strong growth rate means that it has an appealing PEG of 0.9. Furthermore, with a yield of 4.3%, its total return could be somewhat impressive moving forward.
Packaging company RPC (LSE: RPC) has increased its bottom line in four of the last five years, with it averaging growth of 26% per annum. While this rate of growth is not forecast to continue over the next couple of years, RPC offers relative reliability when it comes to earnings growth and this could appeal to investors during an uncertain period.
In addition, RPC also seems to offer growth at a very reasonable price, with it having a PEG ratio of just 1. And, with RPC having a well-covered yield of 2.9% that is forecast to grow to as much as 3.5% next year, it could prove to be a winning investment over the medium term.
So, the above five stocks seem to be the pick of the FTSE 250 at the present time and, looking ahead, they could help you to grow the value of your portfolio. Of course, finding other companies that could do so is no easy task – especially with the time constraints on most private investors these days.
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Peter Stephens owns shares of Laird and Tate & Lyle. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Laird and RPC Group. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.