Why Diageo plc, Standard Life Plc, Barratt Developments Plc And Sports Direct International PLC Are Four Of The Hottest Growth Stocks Out There!

Today I am looking at four FTSE 100 growth stars set to explode.


The growth story over at Diageo (LSE: DGE) has been far from compelling in recent times. A combination of declining off-take from emerging markets — particularly due to Chinese anti-extravagance measures — and adverse currency movements has pushed the spirits giant deeply into the red in recent years. Still, I believe Diageo remains a hot earnings prospect as wealth levels in these growth regions are expected to stomp higher in the years ahead.

Indeed, the drinks giant is expected to flip back into the black in the year to June 2016, albeit by a modest 1%. This creates a P/E ratio of 21 times, an historically cheap level for the London firm. And with Diageo investing heavily in the marketing and innovation of hot labels like Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff, not to mention maintaining its exciting M&A drive, I reckon the company’s sales prospects fully merit this premium.

Standard Life

Like Diageo, insurance giant Standard Life (LSE: SL) has invested heavily to improve its product suite across the globe, and these measures are paying off handsomely as the business flows in. The financial giant announced last week that assets under management rose 2% during July-September, to £301.9bn, helped by terrific net inflows of £5.8bn. Standard Life now generates two-thirds of its third-party inflows from outside the UK, illustrating the tearaway success of its international strategy.

Standard Life is expected to punch earnings rises of 47% and 20% for 2015 and 2016 respectively, pushing a P/E ratio of 17.9 times for the current period to just 15 times in 2016. The latter is considered the benchmark that indicates a very decent bang for one’s buck. On top of this, sub-1 PEG readings through to the close of next year underline Standard Life’s exceptional value.

Barratt Developments

The housing sector has been the major stock success story of 2015, and Barratt Developments (LSE: BDEV) has gained 22% since the turn of the year. And I expect this solid momentum to continue, thanks to a worsening supply/demand imbalance. Despite enduring rhetoric from the government to build houses, the UK remains pitifully short of providing enough accommodation for its rising population. Meanwhile, a backcloth of rising employment and increasing wage packets is continuing to fuel homeseekers’ buying power.

Barratt Developments has long been a splendid earnings generator as housing prices have ticked steadily higher, and the City does not expect this trend to cease any time soon. As a result the construction play is anticipated to record an 18% earnings rise in the 12 months to June 2016, resulting in a P/E multiple of just 11.4 times. And Barratt Developments’ PEG reading for the period clocks in at just 0.6 times.

Sports Direct International

One of the most noticeable changes in the post-recessionary landscape is the determination of shoppers to squeeze the absolute limit out of their pennies. The stunning rise of grocery giants Aldi and Lidl is the most obvious illustration of this trend, but the same change in our shopping habits is helping to drive sales at discount trainer-and-tracksuit warehouse Sports Direct (LSE: SPD) steadily higher.

And the retailer’s exciting plans to expand its footprint across Europe promise to drive revenues even higher — just last month the firm assumed control of Heatons to boost returns from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. As its leisurewear continues to fly off the shelves, the City expects Sports Direct to record earnings expansion of 11% in the year to April 2016, and another 16% rise is predicted for 2017. These figures create attractive P/E ratios of 16.1 times and 14 times respectively.

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Royston Wild owns shares of Barratt Developments. 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.