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One FTSE 250 value stock I’d buy, one I’d hold, and one I’d sell

Today I’m considering the investment potential of three FTSE 250 giants. First, one to buy: drinks mammoth Britvic (LSE: BVIC) spiked to six-month highs this month following the release of a knockout trading statement.

Britvic advised that group revenues rose 4.3% between October and December to £351m, with revenues growth across all of its main markets. Although market conditions remain difficult, it was able to beat the wider market thanks to the strength of labels like Pepsi Max and 7UP.

And massive recent investment in its overseas operations are also powering the top line. Sales in the fast-growing Brazilian marketplace jumped 7.9% in the quarter, for example, while the roll-out of Fruit Shoot in the US proved pivotal in driving sales at at the broad International division leap 19.8%.

These measures are setting Britvic up for exceptional long-term earnings growth. So while a 3% earnings dip is predicted for the 12 months to September 2017, I reckon a subsequent P/E ratio of 13.1 times is a decent level for patient investors to buy-in at.


A less-than-stellar trading update saw pooch palace Pets At Home’s (LSE: PETS) share price tip to its cheapest since November 2015 last month.

The company saw like-for-like sales of animal merchandise, from collars to cat food, falling 0.5% during the three months to January 5. But a growing presence in the rapidly-expanding services sphere is paying off handsomely, and revenues across its veterinary care and grooming arm grew 7% in the period. And further investment here could keep the top line on an upward slant.

The City expects Pets At Home to endure a 1% earnings downtick in the year to March 2017 before the firm gets back into positive territory from next year. Although increasing pressure on consumers’ wallets could put paid to such hopes, an unassuming P/E ratio of 13.1 times could tempt glass-half-full investors to buy-in on the back of the firm’s ambitious growth plans. I reckon Pets At Home may be one to hold onto for the time being.


I’m far less enthused by the investment outlook of Savills (LSE: SVS) however, as the London property market cools.

Indeed, the estate agency warned this month that “in the current year, against the backdrop of heightened uncertainty over global economic prospects, geopolitical risks and rising bond yields, we expect a tempering of the strong transaction volumes of recent times in many markets.”

While I remain bullish over the health of the broader UK property market, I believe the electric price rises seen in the capital in recent years could now prompt a heavy reversal as Brexit negotiations and broader economic troubles whack buyer confidence.

Savills upped its full-year expectations for 2016 in January thanks to a strong end to the year. But I believe a subsequent leap in investor appetite — the property play charged to one-year peaks following last month’s update — could spell trouble.

And while the City expects earnings at Savills to edge 2% higher in 2017, I reckon this reading is in severe danger of being downgraded as the year progresses, making a low P/E ratio of 12.1 times somewhat redundant.

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