I would consider Vodafone Group (LSE: VOD) one of those growth stocks that should prove perfect for long-term investors.
You see, the telecoms titan’s formidable presence across developing and emerging markets gives it scope to generate terrific sales growth in the years ahead. And Vodafone is of course still ploughing vast sums into its global network to bolster voice and data capabilities across all its markets, following on from its recently terminated, multi-billion-pound Project Spring organic investment programme.
But the London business is not the only hot growth stock I would consider buying today, of course. Indeed, the latest trading statement from Applegreen (LSE: APGN) has got me pretty excited.
Profits pumping higher
And my enthusiasm for the petrol forecourt retailer is shared by the market. Applegreen rose 2% in Tuesday business to record peaks just shy of 520p per share, taking total gains since the start of 2017 to 44%.
The Dublin firm announced that revenues blasted 21% higher between January and June to €672.5m, a result that drove adjusted EBITDA to €16.6m, up 28% year-on-year.
Applegreen said that like-for-like food and store sales rose 5.4% in the period, underpinned by a strong economic backcloth and reflecting the impact of recent store rebrands and upgrades.
Celebrating the results, chief executive Bob Etchingham said: “This performance was underpinned by favourable fuel margins, very strong like for like growth in non-fuel revenues and margins together with continued investment in the expansion of the estate.
“We now have a good platform for growth in each of our three markets and are well positioned for the seasonally important second half of the year. Overall, we remain confident in the prospects for the business in 2017, ” he added.
Etchingham referenced the 32 sites Applegreen added to its estate in the first half, taking the total number to 275. Applegreen is the largest motorway service area in the Republic of Ireland, but is increasingly looking to the UK and the USA to drive further growth. Indeed, the company bought seven sites, most of which are on the A1 motorway, from Carsley Group for £21m last month. And looking Stateside, in July Applegreen bought 42 sites in South Carolina from Brandi Group for $5.4m.
Ring up a fortune
I believe these measures should set Applegreen up for handsome earnings growth in the near-term and beyond, and my optimistic take is shared by City analysts. This year, the retailer is predicted to print an 8% bottom line improvement, and growth is predicted to improve 18% in 2018.
While Applegreen may look expensive on paper – the firm sports a forward P/E ratio of 24.7 times, well above the widely-regarded value watermark of 15 times – in my opinion the prospect of hefty earnings growth in the coming years makes the business worthy of such a rating.
And I believe the same can be said for Vodafone. The mobile master is predicted to record a 2% earnings rise in the year to March 2018, and to follow this with a 19% improvement in fiscal 2019. As a consequence, the company boasts a prospective P/E ratio of 28.6 times. However, I reckon the huge sales opportunities thrown up by growing telecoms demand the world over makes the company worthy of this elevated rating.
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Royston Wild has no position in any of the 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.