With the EU referendum dominating news headlines, being an investor in Vodafone (LSE: VOD) is relatively worrying. After all, the UK and Europe are the main markets for the company following its decision to dispose of its stake in North America-focused Verizon Wireless. And with the prospect of a Brexit from the EU being very real, uncertainty in the short term regarding the performance of the European and UK economies could cause investor sentiment in Vodafone to come under pressure.
Since disposing of Verizon Wireless, Vodafone’s bottom line has fallen and the decision has appeared to have been a mistake. Now, though, Vodafone’s investment in Europe could be about to start paying off, with the company forecast to increase its bottom line by 24% in the current year and by a further 19% next year.
This has the potential to dramatically improve investor sentiment in the stock, although Vodafone’s near-term outlook remains uncertain due to the EU referendum. As such, for long-term investors who can live with a degree of volatility for now, Vodafone could prove to be a sound buy – especially with it yielding 5.4%.
What’s the alternative?
Also offering upbeat growth forecasts is Alternative Networks (LSE: AN), with the IT solutions provider expected to return to growth next year following a difficult 2016 financial year. As stated in its interim results release earlier this month, Alternative Networks is seeing a mixed trading performance, with continued good growth being reported in its Advanced Solutions segment. However, Mobile performance has been negatively impacted by challenging market conditions and a reduction in roaming tariffs implemented by the carriers.
Due to this mixed trading, Alternative Networks is expected to deliver a fall in earnings of 7% in the current year, but is due to bounce back with growth of 13% next year. And with it trading on a price-to-earnings growth (PEG) ratio of just 0.8, its improved performance doesn’t yet appear to have been priced-in by the market. Furthermore, with Alternative Networks yielding 6.3% from a dividend covered 1.4 times by profit, it remains a top-notch income play, too.
One to watch for now
Meanwhile, 2016 has also been a challenging year for investors in Avanti (LSE: AVN). The satellite communication services provider’s share price has slumped by 61% since the turn of the year and short-term jumps in its valuation aside, it has shown little sign of mounting a sustained recovery over a prolonged period.
With Avanti forecast to remain in the red in each of the next two financial years, investor sentiment could continue to weaken. As such, its shares appear to be worth watching, but not buying at the present time. That’s despite the company reporting progress in its most recent update, with it recording a rise in sales of almost 15% in its third quarter. With other technology and telecoms companies offering strong profit growth at a reasonable price, there seem to be a number of better options on offer elsewhere at the present time.
Markets around the world are reeling from the coronavirus pandemic…
And with so many great companies trading at what look to be ‘discount-bin’ prices, now could be the time for savvy investors to snap up some potential bargains.
But whether you’re a newbie investor or a seasoned pro, deciding which stocks to add to your shopping list can be daunting prospect during such unprecedented times.
Fortunately, The Motley Fool is here to help: our UK Chief Investment Officer and his analyst team have short-listed five companies that they believe STILL boast significant long-term growth prospects despite the global lock-down…
You see, here at The Motley Fool we don’t believe “over-trading” is the right path to financial freedom in retirement; instead, we advocate buying and holding (for AT LEAST three to five years) 15 or more quality companies, with shareholder-focused management teams at the helm.
That’s why we’re sharing the names of all five of these companies in a special investing report that you can download today for FREE. If you’re 50 or over, we believe these stocks could be a great fit for any well-diversified portfolio, and that you can consider building a position in all five right away.
Peter Stephens owns shares of Alternative Networks and Vodafone. 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.