Today I’m running the rule over three London headline makers.
Take a bite
Food manufacturer Premier Foods’ (LSE: PFD) share price was flat in Tuesday trading despite the release of bubbly full-year numbers. The Mr Kipling and Bisto producer moved back into the black during the 12 months to March 2016 after pre-tax profits advanced 3.5%, to £86.1m.
Revenues edged just 0.6% higher during the period, to £771.7m, although sales have gained momentum in recent weeks — indeed, fourth-quarter revenues grew 1.4% from the corresponding 2015 period.
Chief executive Gavin Darby noted that “our strategy of investing behind our brands and bringing new innovative products to market continues to deliver very positive results,” helping sales of six of its major brands rise by 3.4% last year.
And Darby predicted that Premier Foods’ tie-up with Nissin will bolster the firm’s success in overseas markets.
The City certainly seems convinced of Premier Foods’ growth prospects, and earnings advances of 1% and 6% are chalked-in for 2017 and 2018 respectively. I believe consequent P/E multiples of 4.6 times and 4.3 times are too good to pass up on.
Multi-pronged services play DCC (LSE: DCC) soared to fresh record highs above £64 per share on Tuesday following a blockbuster trading release.
DCC saw profit before tax sail 47% higher in the period to March 2016, to £216.3m, thanks in no small part to the tearaway success of its DCC Energy arm. Operating profit here galloped 71.9% higher in the period, the recent acquisitions of Butagaz, Esso Retail France and DLG proving pivotal in driving performance.
And with DCC a strong candidate for further M&A activity in the near future, the City expects the bottom line to keep on improving.
Indeed, the Dublin firm is expected to enjoy earnings rises of 10% this year and 4% in 2018. While these projections may yield heady P/E ratios of 21.8 times and 21 times respectively, I reckon DCC’s robust profits prospects takes the heat off these readings.
A tad pricey?
Property developer Land Securities (LSE: LAND) also kept its strong run going with a 3% advance on Tuesday. The business saw adjusted net asset values leap 10.9% during the year to March 2016, to 1,434p per share, it announced today.
But Land Securities sounded a word of caution ahead of next month’s ‘Brexit’ referendum, advising that “a vote to leave the EU would lead to business uncertainty while negotiations take place on an exit treaty,” leading to falling occupancy demand and therefore rental values.
Still, the London firm added that “the business is in terrific shape with the financial resources needed to address future opportunities.” And the City certainly believes Land Securities remains a solid stock selection — flatlining earnings in 2017 will give way to a 7% rise the following year, according to broker forecasts.
Those seeking good value could find themselves put off, however, particularly given Land Securities’ warning over June’s referendum. The property play deals on huge P/E ratings of 25 times and 23.8 times for 2017 and 2018, respectively.
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Royston Wild 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.