It is unsurprising that Purplebricks Group’s (LSE: PURP) share price has gone gangbusters since its IPO back in late 2015. The online estate agency’s share price has almost quadrupled since then as its low-cost model has proved extremely popular with property sellers tired of being ripped off by traditional operators.
I am becoming concerned, however, that the company’s stock value is looking a little hot right now. And because of this, I would be far happier to plough my investment cash into cake-and-coffee colossus Patisserie Holdings (LSE: CAKE).
The Patisserie Valerie owner defied tough trading conditions to post an 11% revenues advance between October and March, to £55.5m, a result that powered pre-tax profit 15.7% higher to £9.7m.
The pastry powerhouse’s flagship chain led the charge, and sales here exploded 15.7% during the first half, to £40.4m. And the company is engaged in an aggressive expansion scheme to keep the tills glowing red — it is aiming to open 20 new stores each year, and took its first step into international in May by opening a cafe in Blanchardstown, in the Republic of Ireland.
News has been thin on the ground since the company’s last release in May, and its shares have failed to make significant progress in the subsequent weeks. However, I reckon the market is missing a trick here, particularly as it advised back then that “performance in the six weeks after the period end has been good with a strong Easter period.”
City brokers share my optimistic take and current forecasts suggest that it will keep its recent run of double-digit earnings expansion going with a 16% rise in the year to September 2017.
And the number crunchers expect the cake maker to remain a hot growth star for some time yet, a further 15% rise anticipated for fiscal 2018. This estimate may leave the Birmingham business dealing on a slightly-toppy P/E ratio of 19.6 times, although a PEG readout of 1.2 times suggests that Patisserie Holdings is actually nicely priced in relation to its expected growth trajectory.
Hit the bricks
In sharp contrast to Patisserie Holding’s great growth forecasts, City brokers expect Purplebricks to remain in the red for the year to April 2018, with losses of 4.2p per share currently forecast. The online estate agent is predicted to become earnings generative next year, however, and earnings of 1.7p are predicted.
Although a step in the right direction, this estimate creates a hulking P/E multiple of 256.5 times. Sure, the company continues to grab business from its rivals at a terrific rate with a market share of 4% of all UK ‘subject to contract’ listings, according to UBS, taking it past industry giant Countrywide. But I reckon this huge reading leaves it in danger of a colossal correction should the housing market show signs of cooling in the months ahead.
On top of this, Purplebricks’ meaty premiums reflect hopes that the firm’s fledgling operations in Australia and upcoming launch in the US will make the same stunning progress as at home, something that is far from guaranteed in my opinion. I reckon share investors should probably park their interest in the estate agent, at least for the time being.
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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Patisserie Holdings. 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.