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2 hot growth shares to buy in December

After reaching all-time highs in the summer, medical equipment manufacturer Smith & Nephew (LSE: SN) has suffered a share price slump in recent months. Does this give rise to a buying opportunity for keen investors who’ve been waiting in the wings for any sign of weakness? Well, I think the answer is yes. The medical technology firm is currently trading around 15% below its July peak of 1,310p, and for me that signals an opportunity to buy a slice of an industry leading business.

Share price doubles

The FTSE 100 medical equipment supplier has a long history dating back over 150 years, and is now a truly global business with a presence in over 100 countries worldwide. But despite its size, the London-based multinational hasn’t stopped growing, with sales and profits continuing to rise steadily with each passing year. Naturally the share price has followed, with the company’s shares doubling in value over the last half-decade.

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But surely there’s a limit to how much further the company can go? Well, not exactly. Many of the conditions that the company’s products treat are more prevalent in older patients, and of course as everyone knows, mortality rates are improving which means the world is getting older. I also think that the strong growth in average incomes in emerging markets such as China and India should also have a positive effect on the company’s sales in years to come.

Growth in emerging markets

Furthermore, Smith & Nephew also has a strong product pipeline, and in its most recent trading update said there had been a positive customer reaction to recently launched products such as new camera and Coblation systems in Sports Medicine and the extension of its Journey II Total Knee System. The company also reported positive third quarter results with underlying revenues up 2%, led by strong global growth of 8% in Sports Medicine Joint Repair and 4% in Knee Implants.

But I was more encouraged by the 6% revenue improvement in Emerging Markets, with the company now seeing a return to growth in China. In my view, the strong pull-back since the summer represents a great opportunity for investors to buy a stake in a relatively defensive business that shows no signs of slowing down.

Record earnings

And if you’re looking for another growth share this month, you could do worse than looking at a completely different sector, packaging. Europe’s leading corrugated packaging company Smurfit Kappa Group (LSE: SKG) says it remains on track to deliver record earnings for 2016 and its shares appear to be a good price, but does that make them a buy?

Well, the business is strong. The Dublin-based firm last month reported a 6% rise in third quarter revenues on a constant currency basis, compared to the same period in 2015, with volumes rising by 3%. Revenues in the Americas rose by 68m euros, and while revenues in Europe came in 42m euros lower, this was a result of adverse currency movements.

In my view the Irish packaging giant continues to offer exceptional value for investors seeking capital growth, with the shares trading at a bargain 10 times forward earnings, and supported by a growing dividend currently yielding almost 4%.

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Bilaal Mohamed 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.