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2 FTSE 250 growth stocks to consider before April’s ISA deadline

With less than a month to go before the current tax year comes to an end, it’s now more important than ever to consider taking advantage of any remaining ISA allowance. But what should you do with this capital?

Let’s look at two hot companies — both of which reported full-year results to the market this morning — that could be excellent additions to any growth-focused portfolio.

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Just buy?

Today’s numbers from £3.4bn cap takeaway marketplace Just Eat (LSE: JE) should make wonderful reading for those already invested.

In the year to 31 December, revenues at the company climbed 46% on a like-for-like basis (£375.7m) with pre-tax profits coming in at a stonking £91.3m — 164% up on the previous 12 months. Basic earnings per share jumped 182% to 10.7p with net operating cash flow up 31% to £97m.

In 2016, Just Eat processed £2.5bn of orders for its restaurant partners and grew the number of active users by 31% to 17.6m. Encouragingly, the company reported that over half of UK orders were processed through its tablet-based order management platform, Orderpad –“well ahead” of its target of one-third by March 2017.  

Aside from its UK operations, the company also successfully increased its geographical reach over the last year through acquisitions in Italy, Spain, Mexico and Canada. The international side of the business now accounts for over one-third of revenue.  

As far as 2017 is concerned, Just Eat predicts “material growth” in both revenues (£480m-£495m) and underlying EBITDA (£157m-£163m), despite another year of planned investment. A green light from the UK Competition and Markets Authority for its proposed acquisition of hungryhouse would only help to further cement its status as market leader.  

While a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 30 for 2017 suggests that its shares are priced to perfection, I’m inclined to think that these results — combined with its tasty balance sheet and huge amounts of free cash flow — make Just Eat an investment proposition that’s still worth tucking in to.

Growth… and income

For something completely different, real estate investment trust Tritax Big Box (LSE: BBOX) could be another decent addition to your ISA portfolio. It’s also my top share pick for March.

Based on this morning’s results, 2016 was a great year for the £1.6bn cap. Adjusted earnings per share rose 6.4% and operating profits rocketed 75% to just under £63m in 2016. The company’s contracted annual rent roll also increased to almost £100m from £68m the year before. Assuming any dividends were reinvested, shareholders would have seen a total return of 15.1%, far higher than that achieved by the FTSE 250 index (6.7%).

Tritax acquired 10 new ‘boxes’ during 2016, spending a total of £524m. Independently valued at £1.89bn (a 44% increase on the previous year), it’s geographically diversified portfolio now totals 35 assets and 18.2m sq ft of space. Perhaps most importantly, all assets were fully let and income-producing over the last 12 months.

Richard Jewson, Chairman of Tritax, reflected that the company’s outlook for 2017 “remains positive“, highlighting its “strong financial position” and opportunities to continue building its portfolio. With the popularity of online shopping growing exponentially, Jewson believes that the “ongoing imbalance” between supply and demand for logistics space can only be beneficial for the company.

Trading on 21 times earnings for 2017, shares in Tritax certainly aren’t cheap. That said, they do come with a rather attractive 4.3% forecast yield based on the company’s increased dividend target of 6.4p per share. 

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

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