Why Barclays PLC, Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc, Sports Direct International PLC & Marks and Spencer Group Plc Provide Exceptional All-Round Value

Today I am looking at four FTSE stars providing plenty of bang for one’s buck.


Naturally the lack of a chief executive at Barclays (LSE: BARC) creates huge uncertainty over the firm’s direction, not to mention the fate of its much-maligned Investment Bank. Still, I am convinced the High Street giant is in great shape to deliver resplendent long-term returns. The fruits of its Transform restructuring drive is making Barclays much more cost-efficient, not to mention effective in an increasingly-digitalised world, while efforts to bolster its position in Africa give it increasingly-lucrative emerging-market exposure, too.

While the cost of previous misconduct looks set to haunt the bank for some time yet, the City does not expect this to de-rail bottom line growth and expansion of 36% and 19% are chalked is for 2015 and 2016 respectively. These readings leave Barclays on very cheap P/E ratio of 10.7 times for this year and 8.7 times for 2016. As well, dividends are expected to explode from 6.8p per share in the current period to 9p next year, yielding a delicious 2.7% and 3.6%.

Reckitt Benckiser Group

Thanks to the pukka brand power of labels like Harpic bleach, Dettol disinfectant and Durex condoms, I reckon Reckitt Benckiser (LSE: RB) is a great pick for defensively-minded investors seeking reliable returns. The company’s products can be found across the entire household, not to mention around the entire globe and — like Barclays — Reckitt Benckiser has extensive customers in both established and developing territories.

The number crunchers expect Reckitt Benckiser to report earnings expansion of 3% this year and 7% in 2016, resulting in P/E multiples of 25.1 times and 23.5 times respectively. At face value this may not appear great value, particularly as forecast dividends of 122.2p per share for this year and 131.8p for next year create market-lagging yields of 2% and 2.2% respectively. But I believe the manufacturer’s brilliant growth picture fully justifies its share price premium.

Sports Direct International

Supported by strong British retail conditions, I believe that Sports Direct International (LSE: SPD) is also a great selection for those seeking solid earnings expansion. Indeed, with shoppers demanding more and more for their pennies — and the country’s ongoing fitness craze showing no signs of slowing — the outlook is rosier than ever at the Mansfield-based retailer, in my opinion.

And I expect sales to ratchet still higher as Sports Direct’s European presence steadily increases, a view shared by the City. Indeed, earnings are expected to leap 12% in the year to April 2016, and by a further 15% in 2017. Consequently a very decent P/E multiple of 17.4 times for the current year slips to just 15.3 times for the following period. The trainer play is not expected to shell out a dividend any time soon, but I reckon the business should still deliver bountiful returns looking ahead.

Marks & Spencer Group

The sales profile over at Marks & Spencer (LSE: MKS) took a blow to the belly in July with news that demand for its Womenswear lines had slumped yet again in spring. But I believe this hiccup will prove temporary as the fruits of massive investment in its clothing range — not to mention the broader impact of fatter purses up and down the land — pushes sales of ‘Marks and Sparks” premium togs resolutely higher.

With Marks & Spencer’s also aggressively expanding its Food division in the coming years, not to mention splashing the cash on its multi-channel strategy in Asian markets, I believe group revenues should shoot comfortably higher. The retailer is predicted to enjoy earnings rises of 6% and 9% in the years to March 2016 and 2017 correspondingly, producing decent earnings multiples of 14.5 times and 13.3 times. And anticipated dividends of 19p per share for this year and 20.6p in the following period create exceptional yields of 3.8% and 4.1%.

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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Barclays and 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.