One of the most reliable ways of achieving the dream of becoming a millionaire retiree is to buy stocks that have delivered consistent and reliable earnings growth for a number of years. That way we can feel reassured that a company’s management is delivering on its long-term growth strategy, and thus be more confident of seeing further share price appreciation in the future.
Landscaping products supplier Marshalls (LSE: MSLH) is a great example of this, with the FTSE 250-listed company delivering exceptional levels of growth in recent years, which in turn has left its shareholders enjoying spectacular returns.
In fact, Marshalls has defied the Brexit doomsayers and gone on to deliver a whopping 90% increase in its share price following the EU referendum in June 2016, and a more modest 40% gain since my own recommendation in August the same year.
UK’s leading manufacturer
The group is based in Elland, West Yorkshire, and is now the UK’s leading manufacturer of superior natural stone and innovative concrete hard landscaping products, supplying the construction, home improvement and landscape markets.
Marshalls operates its own quarries and manufacturing sites throughout the UK, including a national network of manufacturing and distribution sites, and has operations in Belgium with worldwide sales representation so it has control of its supply chain and a strong foothold in the EU.
Wider economic uncertainty
In its most recent trading update the group reported an 8% jump In revenues to £430m for the year to the end of December, including a £9m contribution from CPM group which has been trading strongly since it was acquired by Marshalls last October.
Most encouraging of all is that despite the Construction Products Association (CPA) reducing its 2018 forecasts to reflect the wider economic uncertainty, Marshalls has continued to outperform the CPA’s growth figures. At a slightly expensive 16 times forecast earnings, the shares are still a buy.
Another construction materials firm that has enjoyed tremendous success in recent years is AIM-listed Breedon Group (LSE: BREE). Perhaps not surprisingly the share price of the group formerly known as Breedon Aggregates has followed a very similar trajectory to that of its FTSE 250 counterpart, having suffered a similar panic-induced sell-off following the 2016 referendum.
But as weaker investors were left nursing their losses, those that kept the faith have been rewarded handsomely. Not only did the company’s shares fully recover from the Brexit sell-off, but a year later went on to reach new all-time highs of 92.5p, a gain of 30% on my original buy call in October 2016.
Forecasters are expecting new infrastructure and housing work to show healthy growth over the next two years, and with these market segments accounting for approximately two-thirds of Breedon’s end-use markets I believe now is not the time to be taking profits. Breedon is already the UK’s largest independent construction business, but I think there is still plenty of scope for it to grow even bigger.
Trading on a price/earnings ratio of 17, I see Breedon as another worthy construction play.
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Bilaal Mohamed has no position in any 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.