Shares in Worldpay Group (LSE: WPG) continued their recent upward march on Monday after the firm furnished the market with fresh merger and trading details.
First and foremost, chief executive Philip Jansen declared that “excellent progress” was being made in its planned merger with Vantiv, commenting that the company has “set up joint integration teams that will deliver the cost synergies and capture the revenue opportunities that will result from the new Worldpay’s unparalleled scale, differentiated products and global reach.”
With all major regulatory approvals secured, the FTSE 100 star is now targeting completion by the middle of January 2018, Jansen said.
The digital payments star did advise, however, that it has endured a little trading trouble in recent months. In Britain it said that a pattern of cooling consumer spending had persisted during July-September, and that in the US the trading trends seen in the first half of 2017 also continued in the last quarter.
Added to the adverse impact that a strengthening pound has had on its US revenues, the company said that net revenues growth had slowed to 7% during the third quarter to £303.3m. By comparison, in the first nine months of the year they advanced 10% to £903.8m.
As a result of these recent troubles Worldpay said that “net revenue growth for 2017 [should] be at the lower end of our existing guidance range of 9-11%.” It added that “we expect the trends in the UK and the US that we have seen in the third quarter to continue into 2018.”
Despite the prospect of any near-term troubles, however, there is no question in my mind that the enlarged entity will have what it takes to generate colossal profits growth, the tie-up providing exceptional global scale in a fast-growing segment. With consumers using cash for their purchases less and less, demand for Worldpay’s online and real-world services is on course to keep on growing.
City brokers certainly agree with my positive spin, and they are forecasting earnings expansion of 11% and 16% in 2017 and 2018 respectively. And so it doesn’t surprise me that Worldpay maintains an elevated paper valuation, its forward P/E rating clocking in at 30.6 times.
Take a sip
Diageo (LSE: DGE) is another Footsie share that commands a princely sum. And it really isn’t hard to see why.
Investors love the brilliant earnings visibility created by labels like Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Guinness. Such brands tend to remain on shopping lists even when times get tough, and Diageo is investing huge sums in them via marketing initiatives and product innovation to keep volumes flowing.
Diversification is another reason to fall in love with the drinks giant. By manufacturing many types of alcoholic beverage Diageo is protecting its bottom line against any fall in some categories.
Moreover, while the FTSE 100 share can rely on its largest territory of North America to keep on delivering handsome sales growth, it can also look forward to splendid revenues expansion in emerging markets in the years ahead, the company having also spent a fortune to bulk up its operations in these new regions in recent years.
City analysts are expecting earnings to rise 8% in the 12 months to January 2018, and this results in a prospective P/E rating of 22.4 times. In my opinion Diageo is, and should remain, a staple stock for growth investors.
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Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Diageo and Worldpay. 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.