Is It The Right Time To Buy Worldpay Group plc & 88 Energy Ltd?

Today I’ll be taking a closer look at payments processing company Worldpay Group (LSE: WPG) and oil & gas company 88 Energy (LSE: 88E). Is either of these worthy of your children’s inheritance?

Private equity sell-off

Payment processing firm Worldpay saw its shares slump in early trading as it was announced that two private equity firms had sold a large stake in the company. Bank of America Merrill Lynch announced that Advent International Corp and Bain Capital LLC had sold their 13.8% holding in the company for £740, at a price of 269p per share.

The pair had made 275m shares available under a placing launched yesterday, with Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley acting as joint bookrunners. The transaction still leaves Advent and Bain with 564.5m shares, equal to 28.2% of Worldpay.

FTSE-100 listed Worldpay is a newcomer to the market and announced its first set of full-year results last month. Revenue was up by 9% to £3.96bn, and the company moved from a pre-tax loss of £47.1m in 2014 to a profit of £19.1m. Underlying earnings were up an impressive 44% on the previous year.

The impressive growth is expected to continue in the medium term, with analysts expecting a 30% rise in earnings this year, and a further 16% improvement in 2017. Unsurprisingly for a fast growing company, dividends are tiny, with 1.86p per share forecast for this year, rising to 2.69p next year. That means prospective yields of 0.7% and 1% over the next two years.

The valuation is a little demanding for me, with the shares trading on 26 times forecast earnings for the current year, falling to 23 for the year ending 31 December 2017. The company is experiencing good growth, but the shares still seem a little overvalued at the present time, and offer no significant dividends.

Do you want to sleep at night?

Oil & gas exploration company 88 Energy announced yesterday that the independent resource estimate for HRZ shale formation at the Icewine project in Alaska had been increased to 1.4bn barrels of oil equivalent, along with the geologic chance of success increasing from 40% to 60%. Despite the news, the shares tanked and are still falling as I speak, such is the nature of these types of investments. As I write the shares are down 34% from the Tuesday close.

88 Energy is a high-risk, high-reward type of investment. The shares have risen almost 600% in the last six months alone, but could just as easily disappear into the abyss. As yet, the company generates no revenues, and isn’t expected to do so for a while. The share price seems to be driven on speculation and news flow alone. Only a small proportion of your portfolio should be allocated to high risk investments like these, if you want to sleep at night that is!

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