Today I am looking at four FTSE stars carrying exceptional growth prospects.
Shares in drinks giant Diageo (LSE: DGE) have failed to enjoy the strong uplift felt across the rest of the stock market, owing to ongoing fears surrounding China. The Asian economy is clearly a big deal for the drinksmaker, and fresh concerns over a Chinese ‘hard landing’ have followed anti-extravagance measures introduced by the government in recent years. Still, I believe that the country provides plenty of potential for Diageo as the long-term financial picture — and consequently alcohol demand in the territory — remains strong.
Besides, Diageo’s pan-global presence gives it plenty of exposure to other hot emerging markets, helped by acquisitions such as Mexico’s Tequila Don Julio, as well as stake increases at India’s United Spirits and South Africa’s United National Breweries. The City expects Diageo to bounce from last year’s 7% earnings dip with a 3% rise in the year to June 2016, leaving the business dealing on a respectable P/E rating of 18.7 times. And I expect restructuring at its North American market to help blast earnings higher further out, helped by improving economic conditions.
With construction activity across the world clicking through the gears, I expect the contract wins at CRH (LSE: CRH) to keep stacking up. The business advised today that revenues leapt 13% in January-June, to €9.37bn, a result that drove pre-tax profit 2% higher to €63m. Although the Dublin firm reported a “mixed macro-economic backdrop” in Europe, the firm saw sales in the Americas power 26% higher during the period.
CRH’s acquisition-led growth strategy is clearly paying dividends, and the firm announced today that it was getting the chequebook out again to buy North American residential and commercial glazier CR Laurence for $1.3bn. This follows hot on the heels of the €6.5bn acquisition of Lafarge and Holcim’s cement assets, and boosts the firm’s growth profile still further. The City currently expects CRH to punch earnings growth of 41% and 39% in 2015 and 2016 correspondingly, pushing a P/E ratio of 23.2 times for this year to a much more attractive 16.7 times for 2016.
Like the firms mentioned, I expect developing regions to play a huge part in the growth story over at household goods giant PZ Cussons (LSE: PZC) in the years ahead. The company has massive a long-established relationship with consumers spanning the length and breadth of Africa, while recent acquisitions have also boosted its position in Australasia and South-East Asia.
On top of this, PZ Cussons’ vast collection of industry-leading labels — from Imperial Leather shower gel and soap, through to Yo cooking oil and Morning Fresh washing up liquid — also promises to deliver splendid sales growth thanks to the robust brand loyalty of their users. The City expects earnings growth to rev from 2% in the year to May 2016 to 8% in 2017, resulting in very-decent P/E multiples of 16.5 times and 15.5 times correspondingly.
The fallout of the 2008/2009 financial crisis on consumers’ spending habits continues to be felt, whether it be helping to fuel demand for cheap food at Aldi, cut-price togs at Primark, or bargain-basement plane tickets at easyJet (LSE: EZJ). Latest passenger data from the Luton firm showed traveller numbers flip 9.4% higher in July from a year earlier, to more than 7 million, and I expect these numbers to keep rising as the number of routes, and airports from which it operates, rise.
In addition to this, easyJet has also benefitted greatly from reduced fuel costs over the past year or so. And with a worsening supply/demand balance set to keep pushing crude prices lower, I expect this to should remain supportive for some time to come. The number crunchers expect the airline to record earnings advances of 13% in the year ending September 2015, and 10% in fiscal 2016. These figures leave easyJet on ultra-low P/E readings of 12.6 times for this year and 11.4 times for 2016.
But whether or not you fancy stashing the cash in easyJet, or indeed any of the firms I have discussed above, I strongly recommend you check out this totally exclusive report that picks out even more FTSE winners waiting to kick-start your investment returns.
Our “5 Dividend Winners To Retire On” wealth report highlights a selection of incredible stocks with an excellent record of providing juicy shareholder returns. Among our picks are top retail, pharmaceutical and utilities plays that we are convinced should continue to provide red-hot dividends. Click here to download the report -- it's 100% free and comes with no further obligation.
Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of PZ Cussons. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.