3 Hot Shares for May: BT Group plc, Premier Oil PLC & ITV plc?

With a fall of 3.6% over the past 12 months, to 446p, shares in BT Group (LSE: BT.A) might easily have escaped your attention. But if we look back over five years, we see a 128% gain (against a FTSE 100 that’s struggled to beat zero), and profits that have been rising nicely year after year.

Results for the year just ended in March 2016 are due on 5 May, and after a 12% rise in EPS last year, forecasters are expecting a fall back of 2% this year, followed by just a 1% pick-up by March 2017. But with growth expected to accelerate again in 2017-18, does the recent price stagnation make BT shares a good buy now?

BT’s acquisition of EE has only just been completed, and we should be seeing a significant contribution to the bottom line in the coming years. And at Q3 time, chief executive Gavin Patterson enthused about BT’s 4.7% revenue growth as being “our best result for more than seven years“.

On current expectations, the P/E would drop to 13 by March 2018, when the dividend would be yielding 3.9%, and that should make BT shares good value if it comes off — eyes peeled on Thursday.

Oil comeback?

With the price of oil still gradually creeping up and standing above $45 per barrel today, Premier Oil (LSE: PMO) could be set for a very nice comeback from what looked like a dire situation at one point. Premier Oil shares were suspended at 19p in January while the world awaited news of a significant event — it turned out to be the acquisition of E.ON’s North Sea assets for $120m (which I still reckon was a steal), and the shares have since climbed back up to 69p.

At the time, investors were worrying about Premier’s $2.2bn debt mountain. But the firm’s covenants look safe until well into 2017, the E.ON assets should be immediately cash generative, and a modestly-recovering oil price is all that Premier really needs for its future to be reasonably safe.

We should get some news on the E.ON integration, together with an updated snapshot of the whole company, when Premier releases its latest trading and operations update on 11 May — and as a holder of Premier shares, I’m hoping it will help blow the cloudy skies further away.

Buying opportunity?

ITV (LSE: ITV) shareholders have enjoyed a cracking five years, seeing their shares treble in price to 229p. That’s been on the back of five years of strong earnings growth, with revenue growing by 34% between 2011 and 2014, and EPS up 85% — oh, and the dividend has been lifted from 1.6p per share in 2011 to 6p in 2015.

But despite that great record, ITV shares have been falling back of late, giving up 20% since the end of July 2015. The reason is very likely down to a slowing of growth expectations — the 8% and 7% EPS growth forecasts for this year and next respectively look fine to me, but it can lead those who expect super growth to continue forever to jump ship.

And the fall has dropped the P/E of ITV shares to 12.6 for this year, and as low as 11.7 on 2017 forecasts — while the dividend is set to rise to 7.4p this year for a yield of 3.3%, then to 8.6p for 3.8% in 2017. I reckon that’s given us a nice buying opportunity, and I’ll be watching for first-quarter results due on 12 May.

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Alan Oscroft owns shares of Premier Oil. 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.