While market conditions at RELX Group (LSE: REL) may not be conducive to breakneck earnings growth — at least in the medium term — I’m convinced the FTSE 100 dynamo still has what it takes to make you a fortune.
The business information provider has a knack of grinding out steady sales growth and in the nine months to September, it saw underlying revenues edge 4% higher. REXL’s decision to depart from traditional print formats and towards the fast-growing digital data services segment promises to keep turnover moving skywards as businesses become more accommodative to technological change.
What’s more, RELX remains busy on the acquisition front to boost its digital capabilities and to create future profits growth (it has already shelled out £21m in the year to date on four acquisitions).
City analysts are expecting RELX to keep on doling out double-digit earnings growth, a 12% increase being touted for 2017. A 7% predicted advance is more sedate, but still should not be scoffed at.
For one, expectations of solid earnings increases are expected to keep dividends rising at a fair lick. In 2017, a handy 39.8p per share reward is expected, up from 35.95p last year, and yielding 2.3%. And the yield moves to 2.5% for next year due to an anticipated 43.4p dividend.
And RELX’s bright profits picture also leaves predicted dividends well protected, too. Payment forecasts through to the close of 2018 are covered 2 times by projected earnings, bang on the widely-accepted security benchmark.
I reckon RELX is a top-quality share worthy of a premium forward P/E ratio of 21.1 times.
A brilliant dip buy
Now there is no doubt that the Nurofen, Strepsils and Gaviscon maker has some not-too-insignificant troubles to iron out right now, and this is reflected in its share price performance of late (Reckitt Benckiser’s market value has eroded 15% during the past six months).
Challenging market conditions in its established markets have caused total revenues to remain under the cosh and, on a like-for-like basis, these fell 1% in the three months ending September, extending the 2% decline punched in quarter two.
But I remain confident that Reckitt Benckiser has what it takes to deliver stonking earnings growth in the years ahead. Despite current troubles in the key markets of India, Middle East and Brazil, the brilliant long-term sales opportunities of developing markets was underlined by a 3% rise in like-for-like revenues in July-September.
City brokers are expecting Reckitt Benckiser’s much-loved ‘Powerbrands’ to keep delivering the goods and are forecasting earnings growth of 6% in 2017, an impressive projection given the pressures in many of its markets.
And current forecasts suggest that profits growth will accelerate to 10% next year.
Like RELX, Reckitt Benckiser’s solid earnings outlook is expected to keep dividends sprinting higher, too. Last year’s 153.2p per share reward is anticipated to rise to 164p this year and to 179.4p in 2018, meaning that yields rock up at 2.4% and 2.7%, respectively.
I reckon the evergreen appeal of its cash cow labels, allied with its omnipresence in supermarkets across the globe, makes Reckitt Benckiser a brilliant share to buy today. A conventionally-high forward P/E ratio of 20.6 times is still good value in my opinion given its excellent opportunities for long-term profits growth.
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Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Reckitt Benckiser. 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.