After a strong comeback from January’s sell-off, could BHP Billiton (LSE: BLT) really climb by another 50% over the next year?
A 50% increase would take BHP shares back to about 1,200p, a level last seen in October. In my view, the medium-term outlook for the commodity market hasn’t really changed that much since then.
Instead, what seems to be happening is that big miners like BHP are being given some recognition for the measures they’ve taken to cut costs and improve cash flow. There’s also growing evidence that the oil market is starting to rebalance, which should help BHP.
City analysts are turning more positive on BHP. Forecast earnings for the current year — which ends on 30 June — have risen by 18% in the last month alone. Current forecasts suggest that BHP’s profits will double in 2016/17. If this year’s results support this outlook, then I believe further gains could be on the cards.
This small-cap could double
An unscheduled announcement from Goals Soccer Centres (LSE: GOAL) this morning revealed that the firm has raised £16.75m in a placing.
Goals shares have fallen by almost 48% over the last year, following two profit warnings. The need for extra cash wasn’t a big surprise, and I’d argue that today’s placing is actually good news for shareholders.
The placing was carried out at 100p per share, only marginally below Thursday’s closing price of 102p. This is good news, as it minimises dilution for other shareholders. The placing price also suggests to me that the investors taking part are confident Goals’ turnaround plans will be successful.
Goals plans to use the cash to give its UK estate a facelift, cut debt and fund a US pilot. I’d normally expect some of this to be affordable from operating cash flow. But with a new chief executive on board, I’m willing to give Goals the benefit of the doubt. The stock currently trades on about 9 times 2016 forecast earnings. If earnings growth accelerates as expected, I think a target price of 150p is quite reasonable.
Is this giant now turning the corner?
Successful turnarounds often aren’t obvious until they’re well under way. I suspect this may end up being true of Rolls-Royce Holdings (LSE: RR).
One of the City’s biggest beefs with Rolls was that its forecasts had become too unreliable. To make matters worse, the firm’s profits were hard to understand. Chief executive Warren East — who oversaw the impressive growth of ARM Holdings — has committed to simplifying both the business and its accounts and providing more accurate guidance.
This approach seems to be working. Analysts’ consensus forecasts for Rolls’ 2016 earnings are stabilising, and have been broadly unchanged for the last three months. That’s progress after the multiple profit warnings we saw last year.
Analysts currently expect Rolls to report adjusted earnings of 24.6p per share for 2016, rising by 35% to 33.1p per share in 2017. This puts Rolls on a forecast 2017 P/E of 18. That’s not cheap, but if earnings can continue to recover it may prove to be a reasonable entry point.
An added attraction is that Rolls has almost no debt and offers a 2.3% forecast yield. Over the medium term, I think these shares could deliver decent gains.
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Roland Head owns shares of BHP Billiton. The Motley Fool UK has recommended ARM Holdings. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.