Share pickers have failed to be excited by the latest trading statement from DCC (LSE: DCC), the sales, marketing and support services specialist last 1% lower from Thursday’s close.
The FTSE 100 firm advised in a reassuring update that at “what is still a very early stage in the financial year, the group reiterates its belief that the year ending 31 March 2018 will be another year of profit growth and development.”
DCC reported growth across each of its four divisions in the three months to June, with trading coming in line with expectations. The Dublin company noted that, should currency exchange rates remain where they are today for the remainder of the fiscal year, that it would experience a modest benefit in line with market predictions.
The fuel distributor said that, looking ahead, profits should be “significantly weighted” towards the second half of the fiscal period.
It is worth pointing out at this stage that DCC has consistently grown earnings in recent years, and the City does not expect its proud growth record to cease any time soon. Bottom-line rises of 8% and 16% are forecast for the years to March 2018 and 2019 respectively.
Not only do the prospects for organic growth remain rosy, but DCC has the clout — as well as the appetite — to put a rocket under profits expansion through strategic M&A.
Indeed, the company commented today that “DCC’s strong and liquid balance sheet, leaves it well placed to continue the growth of its LPG, Retail & Oil, Healthcare and Technology divisions, in both existing and new geographies.” DCC cited the financial boost from its successful £450m fundraising in the US private placement debt market.
The company is on track to complete the acquisitions of Esso Retail Norway and Shell Hong Kong & Macau in the third and fourth quarters respectively, it added.
While a forward P/E multiple of 22.6 times may sail above the Footsie corresponding average of 15 times, I believe DCC’s exciting growth prospects merit such a rating.
Like DCC, Porvair (LSE: PRV) has garnered a reputation as a dependable growth generator for years. And the number crunchers also expect the business to keep delivering — rises of 7% and 5% are chalked in for the periods ending November 2017 and 2019 respectively.
A prospective P/E ratio of 29.6 times may appear too rich for many share pickers. But in my opinion, the industrial filter manufacturer is worthy of this premium given the huge amounts of cash it is investing to bolster its position in fast-growing and niche areas.
Indeed, Porvair announced last month that it has started the current fiscal year well, the Norfolk business boasting of “a healthy order book going into the second half.” It commented that “organic growth continues to be driven by incremental new product introductions and capacity expansion,” and added that the recently-acquired laboratory consumables supplier J.G. Finneran has made an “excellent start” since its purchase in April.
Porvair has a terrific track record when it comes M&A, and further bolt-on buys would appear to be a matter of time. It noted that it has “has a strong balance sheet, a promising project pipeline and sees many opportunities for further growth ahead.” I for one expect earnings to continue stomping higher in the coming years.
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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of Porvair. 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.