Forget the Footsie! These FTSE 250 stocks are unmissable at current prices

The ambitious expansion strategy of DS Smith (LSE SMDS) makes it a great bet for stunning earnings expansion, in my opinion.

The FTSE 250 (INDEXFTSE: MCX) boxbuilder has made five acquisitions in the past fiscal year alone to build scale and coverage, improving its ability to service customers across Europe in particular. And DS Smith is benefitting from intense competition in the retail sector too, as stores and product manufacturers invest heavily in putting on pretty displays to separate shoppers from their cash.

The London firm is expected to keep its stellar earnings record going with rises of 13% and 6% in the periods to April 2017 and 2018 respectively, resulting in attractive P/E ratios of 13.6 times and 12.6 times.

And DS Smith’s predicted dividends of 14p per share for this year and 14.8p for 2018 — yielding 3.4% and 3.6% — provide an added sweetener.

Solid if unspectacular

Support services giant Mitie Group (LSE: MTE) has its finger in many pies. And this makes it a stellar pick for defensively-minded investors, in my opinion.

Mitie supplies a wide variety of goods and services to keep companies of all shapes and sizes up and running, including blue chip stars like Vodafone, Capita and Rolls-Royce. This cross-sector exposure gives Mitie terrific earnings visibility.

The business is expected to endure a rare earnings blip in the year to March 2017, a 1% dip currently predicted by City analysts. But this leaves the business dealing on a P/E rating of just 10.8 times.

And a return to growth in 2018 — a 4% advance is currently predicted — results in a outstanding multiple of 10.3 times, a shade above the bargain-basement threshold of 10 times.

Meanwhile, Mitie’s progressive dividend policy is expected to produce payouts of 12.6p per share in fiscal 2017 and 13.2p next year. These numbers yield 4.7% and 5%.

Safe as houses

I believe the strength of the British housing market also makes construction play Redrow (LSE: RDW) a great mid-cap for savvy investors.

Industry data has been largely disappointing since the Brexit vote. Indeed, the Council of Mortgage Lenders advised just today that mortgage loans taken out in July dipped 14%, to 58,100. The uncertainty following June’s referendum was bound to have an impact on homebuyer confidence, but I reckon this represents a blip rather than a forthcoming trend.

Redrow’s splendid record of generating double-digit earnings expansion is expected to grind to a halt in the period to June 2017 — a 7% decline is currently predicted.

Still, a prolonged supply/demand imbalance in the domestic housing sector still makes Redrow a terrific long-term growth bet, in my opinion. And a P/E rating of 7.6 times for the current year makes now an exceptional time to latch onto the firm, and more than bakes in any potential risks to earnings growth.

On top of this, a predicted dividend of 11.7p per share for 2017, up from 10p last year, yields a chunky 3%.

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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended DS Smith, Mitie Group, and Redrow. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.