Today I’ll be discussing the merits of investing in online takeaway delivery service Just Eat, healthcare services provider NMC Health, and building materials firm Marshalls. Could these three FTSE 250 companies be among the hottest growth stocks this summer?
Grab a slice
Online food-to-go service Just Eat (LSE: JE) reported a strong set of figures recently when it announced its interim results for the six months ended 30 June. Orders were up by 55% during the first half of the year, with revenues reaching £171.6m, a 59% improvement on the same period a year earlier. The company also continued on its acquisition trail by gobbling up businesses in Italy, Spain, Brazil and Mexico. The firm’s technology platform processed 64.9m orders worth over £1.1bn for its takeaways, with the number of returning customers increasing by 45% to 15.9m.
Investors will have enjoyed watching the value of their shares rocket by around 70% in the last six months, but I think there’s plenty more to come. Indeed, our friends in the City are expecting revenues to swell to £463m by 2017, with earnings growth forecast at 65% and 48% this year and next. At current levels the shares are changing hands at 35 times forward earnings for 2017, which may seem a little high, but is well below historical levels. Growth-focused investors might want to grab a slice of the action in this ever-growing market.
It seems there’s no stopping healthcare specialist NMC Health (LSE: NMC) as it goes from strength-to-strength with rapidly rising revenues and profits in each of the last three years. The private hospital group had another successful year in 2015 with revenues rising to £881m from £644, and profit-before-tax up from £77.5m to £85.4m. The group’s main focus has been operating hospitals in the United Arab Emirates, but NMC now also provides fertility treatments in Spain thanks to its Clinica Eugin subsidiary that it acquired in 2015.
Analysts are predicting another good year for the FTSE 250-listed business, with 47% earnings growth estimated for the current financial year and a further 25% rise pencilled-in for 2017. Investors have spotted the firm’s potential and have sent the shares 40% higher in the last six months, but I believe the shares are still trading well below their true value. At around £12 the shares look undervalued at a price-to-earnings ratio of 17 for next year given the healthy outlook.
Paving the way
Building materials firm Marshalls (LSE: MSLH) says it remains positive despite the uncertainty caused by the UK’s decision to leave the EU. Shares in the concrete paving manufacturer were knocked-back after the Brexit vote, but have recovered well recently as savvy investors take advantage of the weakness in the share price. Market consensus continues to suggest double-digit earnings growth for 2016 and 2017, with revenues also predicted to climb higher over the medium term. For me, Marshalls remains the pick of this trio of growth shares from a valuation perspective as it’s trading at just 13 times forward earnings for 2017.
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Bilaal Mohamed has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Marshalls. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.