From record tops above 178p per share punched less than three months ago, the semiconductor wafer manufacturer is now dealing 37% lower as investor appetite has seeped away. Negative research notes from ShadowFall Capital & Research and then Muddy Waters Capital earlier this month did nothing to help its market value either. The company was quick to point out those entities hold short positions.
City analysts do not see any reason for alarm, however. Far from it. What with current forecasts suggesting that earnings growth of 31% and 37% in 2018 and 2019 respectively can be expected, up from a predicted 2% rise last year.
And these projections suggest that IQE is now a bit of a bargain. A forward P/E ratio of 26.2 times may look a tad heady. Conversely, a corresponding sub-1 PEG of 0.8 should attract the interest of all savvy value investors, in my opinion, certainly if recent trading updates are to be believed.
Back in December it advised that full-year revenues for 2017 are likely “to be ahead of market expectations,” with news that a VCSEL (or vertical cavity surface emitting laser) product development programme moving to mass market production in June probably caused growth at its Photonics division to double last year. And it is easy to see demand for the AIM firm’s broad range of cutting-edge technological applications continuing to grow from the world’s biggest phone-makers, and not just from industry giant Apple.
If you are unconvinced by my bullish take on IQE, I have another great growth stock I believe could make you rich: Kerry Group (LSE: KYGA).
A slip to five-month troughs around 81p per share would suggest otherwise, but I believe the Irish company’s latest financial update provided much to celebrate.
Kerry, which manufactures food ingredients and flavourings, advised that group revenue rose 4.5% year-on-year in 2017 to €6.4bn thanks to rising demand across the business (total volumes increased 4.3% from 2016 levels). As a consequence, profit after tax jumped 10.4% last year to £588.5m.
At its core Taste & Nutrition arm, turnover jumped to €5.2bn, helped by a 4.7% volume uptick. Meanwhile over at Consumer Foods, revenues clocked in at €1.3bn, supported by volumes improving 2.4%.
Kerry continued to grow volumes grew above market rates last year, a performance the company attributed to its “foundational technology capabilities and speed of innovation in response to consumer and customer requirements.” The strong sales outcome of 2017 was also thanks to the solid progress it is making in overseas markets, and particularly lucrative emerging regions. Revenues in the Asia-Pacific region jumped 13.1%, to €866m, and volumes shot 11.1% higher.
A fast-changing marketplace leaves Kerry with plenty more opportunities to keep earnings rising at a healthy rate. And so City analysts are predicting earnings growth of 19% in 2018 and 10% next year, projections that leave the business dealing on a forward P/E ratio of 22.8 times.
Sure, this may be expensive on paper, but I reckon this is fair value given its ample revenues opportunities across the globe.
Turn your investment cash into £1m
But whether or not you share my bullish take on Kerry Group, I strongly recommend you check out this special Fool report that could help you become a stock market genius.
Our 10 Steps To Making A Million In The Market report reveals a flurry of wise investment themes and strategies to help investors avoid heavy losses and make a fortune from their investments.
Click here to enjoy this exclusive wealth report. It's 100% free and comes with no obligation.
Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of and has recommended Apple. The Motley Fool UK has the following options: long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple and short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple. 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.