NMC Health (LSE: NMC) may not be the best known FTSE 100 healthcare giant. But I am convinced that its presence in the lucrative Middle East, built by a steady raft of acquisitions, allied with its plans to expand its presence into other emerging markets, makes it no less compelling as growth pick than GlaxoSmithKline or AstraZeneca.
But before I continue I would like to take a look at Tristel (LSE: TSTL) too, which found itself edging to three-month highs on Tuesday following the release of decent half-year numbers, which I believe is another London-quoted share on the path to delivering brilliant shareholder returns.
Tristel, which manufactures infection prevention and contamination control products, advised that revenues jumped 10% during July-December, to £10.7m. This drove pre-tax profit 18% higher to £2m.
While sales in the UK dropped 4% in the first half, to £5.4m, turnover generated from foreign climes grew 28% in the period (also to £5.4m). Revenues generated from foreign markets now account for just over half the group total versus 43% a year earlier.
And Tristel has ambitious plans to develop its international operations still further. As well as revamping its sales force in Hong Kong, it also expects to enter the US hospital market imminently (approval from the Environmental Protection Agency is anticipated later this year).
Bright growth picture
With revenues abroad steadily taking off, City analysts are expecting Tristel to follow a predicted 3% earnings advance in the year ending June 2018 with a further 13% advance for the next year.
And these bright profit predictions are likely to keep dividends rising at a fair lick, or so says the Square Mile. So fiscal 2017’s 4.03p per share reward — itself up 21% year-on-year — is expected to rise to 4.5p in the present period, and again to 4.9p in the following year.
As a consequence, Tristel carries handy (if not exactly spectacular) yields of 1.7% and 1.8% for fiscal 2018 and 2019 respectively.
The healthcare colossus may be pretty expensive on paper, rocking up on a forward P/E ratio of 32.6 times. However, I would consider this rating fair value given its rising global might.
Expensive but exceptional
I would also encourage investors to look past the elevated earnings multiples over at NMC (the company currently sports a prospective P/E ratio of 31.5 times).
That is not only because the company has proven itself a formidable generator of double-digit earnings growth for many years and thus worthy of such a rating, but also because a corresponding sub-1 PEG reading of 0.6 suggests the Footsie play could actually be considered a bargain relative to its probable growth trajectory.
NMC is predicted to pop out a 50% bottom line improvement in 2018, and to continue its hot profits record next year with a 22% rise next year.
And like Tristel, predictions of sustained, healthy profits growth is expected to keep dividends rising at a brisk pace. This means NMC’s dividend of 12.7p per share in 2017 is expected to jump to 19.2p in the current period and again to 23.5p in 2019.
Subsequent yields of 0.6% and 0.7% aren’t that impressive, but the prospect of this brilliant dividend growth should still make income investors sit up and take notice.
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Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of and has recommended GlaxoSmithKline. The Motley Fool UK has recommended AstraZeneca. 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.