Fears over the health of the UK housing sector were put firmly on the backburner in Wednesday trade following a fresh set of releases from some of Britain’s builders.
MJ Gleeson (LSE: GLE), for example, announced that it had sold 1,013 homes during the 12 months to June 2017, up 12.1% year-on-year. The business added that reservations during the final six months of the year surged 45% from the corresponding period last year.
As a result Gleeson — which specialises in providing low-cost homes in the North — said that it now expects results for the financial year to top previous expectations.
Lauding the results chief executive Jolyon Harrison commented that “Gleeson Homes begins the current financial year in its strongest ever position, demand remains strong as is evidenced by the queues forming at site openings and reservations are at record levels.”
The Sheffield company, having realised its goal of building 1,000 new homes a year, has established a new target and is now looking to put up 2,000 new homes a year within the next five years.
The news sent the stock’s share price 5% higher from Tuesday’s close and back to within a whisker of April’s record highs.
Strength across the board
But Gleeson was not the only builder furnishing the market with bubbly trading news today, the latest release from Persimmon also helping to lift Britain’s housebuilders in midweek trade. The FTSE 100 star advised that completion volumes rose 8% during January-June, to 7,794 homes, with affordable mortgage rates continuing to drive buyer demand.
The City certainly expects this dynamic to keep earnings at Gleeson, for one, to continue heading north, albeit at a slower pace than previously as home price growth cools down.
Earnings growth of 6% is predicted for fiscal 2017, although the business is anticipated to get back on the front foot with an 11% rise in the period ending next summer. And this year’s projection makes the housing giant brilliant value for money, producing a prospective P/E multiple of just 13.1 times. This falls some distance inside the widely-regarded value terrain of 15 times or under.
And given the strong possibility that today’s bubbly release could see current forecasts significantly upgraded, I reckon now is a great time to move into Gleeson.
A backcloth of increasing political turbulence convinces me that sales of BAE Systems’ (LSE: BA) cutting-edge hardware are likely to step up in the years ahead.
Fresh missile tests from North Korea this week have added more angst for a West already concerned by Russian and Chinese foreign policy, not to mention the stepping-up of terrorist activity across the world. And this environment is likely to bolster earnings across much of the defence sector as the US and UK, in particular, tools up.
The number crunchers expect this environment to keep BAE Systems’ bottom-line on an upward bent, current forecasts suggesting growth of 9% and 7% in 2017 and 2018 respectively. And such projections result in a cheap forward P/E ratio of 14.2 times, a bargain in my opinion given the company’s top-tier status with the world’s major militaries.
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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.