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IInvestor appetite for Britain’s pub operators has failed to recover since Greene King’s spooky trading statement in early September

Not only did the business advise of a 1.2% decline in like-for-like sales during the 18 weeks to September 3, but it was hardly bullish over the prospect of an imminent upturn — indeed, the firm commented that it is “cautious about the trading environment and expect[s] the challenges of weaker consumer confidence, increased costs and increasing competition to persist over the near term.”

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The news saw the share price of Marston’s (LSE: MARS) extend the downtrend that has seen the firm shed almost a third of its value during the past four months. And the firm sank to its cheapest since mid-2012 just last week.

However, I am convinced this weakness represents a great buying opportunity as the brewer’s long-term investment case remains compelling, and particularly given its ultra-low valuations.

Sure, Marston’s is predicted to endure a slight earnings decline in the year to September 2017. But the company is expected to bounce back with a 6% bottom-line advance in fiscal 2018. Besides, a forward P/E ratio of 7 times for the upcoming period more than reflects the current trading challenges the company faces, in my opinion.

On top of this, the possibility of hulking dividends makes the pub giant worth more than a cursory glance right now — predicted rewards of 7.5p and 7.9p per share for this year and next yield 7.2% and 7.6% respectively.

Whilst sales growth may have slowed more recently, Marston’s has shown a knack of outperforming the broad industry and saw like-for-like revenues expand 0.6% in the 12 weeks to July 22. And with the company also continuing to expand its 1,500+ pub estate, I reckon the future remains pretty rosy for the drinks giant.

Pipe dreams

I also reckon Tricorn (LSE: TCN) is a stock worthy of attention for those seeking excellent growth prospects at low prices.

In the period ending March 2018 the pipe manufacturer is expected to see earnings explode 164% to, or say so City analysts.  And this is not predicted to be a mere flash in the pan, either — an extra 53% improvement is forecast for fiscal 2019.

As a result Tricorn trades on mega-low multiples. Not only does the share change hands on an undemanding forward P/E rating of 12.1 times, but it also carries a sub-1 PEG multiple of 0.1.

Given the company’s strong sales momentum, some could say that the firm is an appetising pick at these prices. It saw revenues rise 3% in the last fiscal period, a result that saw profits beat all prior expectations — Tricorn booked pre-tax profits of £230m in the year versus the previous year’s £270m loss.

The company has restructured its Chinese manufacturing processes to more effectively meet the needs of its Asian clients, but this is not the only story as revenues also continue to sail higher in the UK and the US. I reckon Tricorn’s pan-global progress could make it one to check out right now.

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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.

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