With investors reducing their exposure to the worsening political and economic malaise gripping Britain, Prudential (LSE: PRU) has seen its share price accelerate in the aftermath of last June’s EU referendum.
The insurance giant’s share price has gained 35% over the past year alone, and stepped to record peaks above £18 per share in June. This also comes as little surprise as global sales at Prudential continue to rip higher.
The financial favourite saw new business profit stomp to £856m during January-March, up 25% at constant exchange rates. But when you factor-in the impact of recent sterling weakness, profits actually jumped 42%.
The London firm’s latest release again underlined the huge potential of its Asian marketplaces as rising income levels, combined with ultra-low product penetration, continued to power the bottom line. Prudential saw new business profit here pound 26% higher at stable rates (or 42% at actual exchange rates), a result the firm attributed to “higher volumes and improvements in mix.”
Profits powering higher
Prudential has a rich record of earnings growth, and the City does not see this positive trend running out of steam any time soon. The FTSE 100 star is predicted to punch rises of 9% and 5% in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
And current projections leave the business dealing on a very-attractive forward P/E multiple of 12.4 times — by comparison the British blue-chip average stands closer to 15 times.
I reckon this is a bargain given its exceptional sales momentum across Asia, the US and UK, not to mention its ambitious expansion plans across the world. Just this week the insurer made its first foray into the Nigerian market after snapping up Zenith Life and creating exclusive bancassurance partnerships with Zenith Bank in Nigeria and Ghana.
Mondi (LSE: MNDI) is another stock I am touting to deliver brilliant long-term earnings expansion.
The packaging powerhouse’s broad geographic exposure has also lit a fire under share picker demand in recent times, the stock adding an even-better 45% in value over the past 12 months and hitting records above £21 per share last month.
Enthusiasm for Mondi has remained undimmed despite rough trading conditions more recently. Its latest update revealed a 6% decline in underlying operating profit in the year to May 11, to €252m, the company commenting that “strong sales volume growth was more than offset by a significantly lower forestry fair value gain, inflationary cost pressures and lower average selling prices.”
Still, Mondi’s outlook remains bubbly given that strong demand has enabled it to enact price increases in a number of paper grades, while the fruits of recent acquisitions are predicted to give the bottom line an extra boost. Accordingly the company expects another year of bottom line progress in 2017.
Like Prudential, Mondi has proved a dream stock for growth hunters in recent times, and extra advances of 6% and 5% are forecast for this year and next. Given its proven knack of grinding out earnings expansion year after year, I reckon a prospective earnings multiple of 15.5 times makes the company a very appealing pick.
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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.