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5 Spectacular Stocks For Shrewd Growth Hunters: Prudential plc, Standard Life Plc, BAE Systems plc, Sports Direct International Plc And Aggreko plc

Today I am running the rule over five firms set to deliver electric earnings growth.

Stunning earnings expansion

Life insurance giant Prudential (LSE: PRU) has a prestigious record of generating stunning earnings expansion year after year, and I do not expect this trend to come to a halt anytime soon.

Investor sentiment has been shaken by the announced departure of chief executive Tidjane Thiam, while chief risk officer Pierre-Olivier Bouée is set follow him out the door, too. Still, I believe Prudential’s proven resilience in mature Western markets, combined with surging demand in emerging regions — Asian annual premium equivalents (APEs) have risen for 22 successive quarters — makes the business a terrific long-term growth selection.

This view is shared by the City, and Prudential is anticipated to enjoy growth to the tune of 14% in 2015 and 12% next year. These projections create hugely-attractive P/E multiples of 14.9 times and 13.2 times for 2015 and 2016 correspondingly, below the barometer of 15 times that indicates very attractive value. In addition, Prudential’s relative cheapness is underlined by a PEG number of 1.1 through to the close of 2016 — any number around or below 1 is widely considered a steal.

A solid bottom-line surge

Like its sector peer, I reckon that Standard Life (LON: SL) is primed to enjoy a solid bottom-line surge in the years ahead. The company saw assets under administration rise 5% during January-March, to £312bn, powered by terrific business activity across the globe — indeed, the insurer’s global push means that almost three-quarters of net inflows during the period came from outside the UK.

Standard Life is finally expected to wave goodbye to the earnings volatility of recent years, and follow up last year’s 11% bottom line improvement with a 71% advance in 2015. And an additional 19% increase is anticipated for 2016. As a consequence the firm’s P/E multiple of 17.8 times for this year slips to just 14.9 times for the following 12-month period.

Improved momentum

With economic conditions improving across the West, I expect the order book at BAE Systems’ (LSE: BA) to begin to bulge once again as governments boost their defence budgets. The company’s broad suite of industry-leading products and services — from cyber security through to missile building and vehicle manufacturing — makes it a top supplier to the US and UK militaries, a reputation which is increasingly attracting the attention of customers in lucrative emerging regions.

This bubbly outlook is not expected to propel earnings skywards in the immediate term, however, and an uptick of just 2% is currently chalked in for 2015. But a predicted 6% advance in the following year illustrates the improved momentum BAE Systems is set to enjoy. And projections for this year and next leave the arms giant trading on decent P/E ratios of 12.9 times and 12.2 times for 2015 and 2016 correspondingly.

Explosive earnings growth

With Britain’s sporting craze showing no signs of stalling, I believe that discount trainer and tracksuit retailer Sports Direct (LSE: SPD) is in great shape to keep on delivering dependable earnings expansion. The ongoing supermarket wars has illustrated UK shoppers’ love of a good bargain, and with Sports Direct also bolstering its operations on the continent, I reckon revenues are only likely to head one way.

Mike Ashley has discovered the winning formula for explosive earnings growth year after year, and the Mansfield company is predicted to follow a 14% leap in the year concluding April 2015 with advances of 16% and 13% in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Such numbers leave Sports Direct trading on a P/E multiple of 15.9 times for this year and 19.7 times for 2017, while PEG readings of 0.9 and 1 for these years underpin the firm’s exceptional value for money.

Steady growth

Despite the release of a broadly-positive trading statement today, power generator supplier Aggreko (LSE: AGK) has seen shares dip in Thursday trading. The business saw underlying revenues advance 4% during January-March, and confirmed that underlying trading profit for the whole year remains in line with expectations. Although the impact of a lower oil price remains a concern, I expect Aggreko to experience steady growth in demand for its services as the global economy improves.

Indeed, the City expects the company to enjoy a 3% earnings rise in 2015, and bottom line expansion is expected to accelerate to 8% in 2016 as customer demand moves steadily higher. These figures leave Aggreko changing hands on slightly-heady P/E ratios of 19.3 times for 2015 and 17.6 times for 2016, although I believe the firm’s huge geographical spread across emerging and established markets alike merits this small premium.

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