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2 top growth stocks I’d buy in March

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A strong housing market convinces me that Springfield Properties (LSE: SPR) is a hot growth share to buy and cling onto for the years to come.

Indeed, the AIM-quoted business underlined the robustness of the market in its latest trading statement on Tuesday, a release that sent its share price 7% higher and to record tops of 119p.

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Springfield declared that, thanks to a 10.5% improvement in revenues during June-November, to £54.8m, adjusted pre-tax profit rocketed 19.6% to £3.1m. The number of completions rose 6% to 280 new homes, it added, with sales rising across both its Private Housing and Affordable divisions.

The business, which focuses on building homes north of Hadrian’s Wall, also noted that conditions remain pretty rosy looking ahead. Executive chairman Sandy Adam commented: “We have entered the second half of our financial year with a strong order book of contracted revenues and, together with sustained market drivers including a supportive Scottish Government policy, Springfield is poised to play a significant part in the delivery of the many new private and affordable homes needed across Scotland.”

City analysts certainly expect profits to pound higher beyond the current year — bottom line rises of 23% and 12% are forecast for 2018 and 2019 respectively. Yet despite its bright outlook, Springfield deals on a forward P/E ratio of 11.1 times.

Given that Britain’s chronic homes shortage is unlikely to be remedied any time soon, I reckon Springfield is a brilliant bargain growth share to be seriously considered today.

Looking good

The outlook for much of the UK retail sector is pretty grim, let’s make no bones about it.

From sellers of big-ticket items like car dealership Pendragon, right through to specialists in the budget retail segment like clothes seller Bonmarche, a combination of plummeting consumer confidence and falling real earnings is creating havoc for many of the country’s listed retailers.

There are a few bright spots for stock pickers in these choppy waters, however, in their search for abundant investment returns. One such share I believe should still make investors a packet is sportswear colossus JD Sports Fashion (LSE: JD) thanks to its European expansion strategy.

Just last month the FTSE 250 business affirmed the success it is enjoying on foreign shores by proclaiming: “We remain pleased with the continuing momentum of our international business which forms a fundamental pillar of our growth strategy.” This success led it to say pre-tax profit for the full-year to January 2018 will hit the £300m mark, beating previous expectations of between £270m and £295m.

JD opened 23 new stores across continental Europe in the first half of last year, but the company is casting its net further afield too, in order to give revenues an extra dose of rocket fuel. As well as setting foot in Australia last year, the business also added new stores in Malaysia, and in the autumn entered the South Korean footwear market by inking a JV with local retail giant Shoemarker.

City analysts are expecting JD to follow a predicted 24% earnings advance in fiscal 2018 with extra rises of 9% this year and 10% next, assisted by its ongoing expansion programme as well as its unique brand relationships with the biggest sports companies, putting it at the cutting-edge of the sports fashion segment.

A forward P/E ratio of 15.1 times is too cheap given its growth programme and resilience in difficult domestic markets.

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Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Pendragon. 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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