According to my figures, shares in gambling group GVC (LSE: GVC) have produced a total return of 22.5% per annum over the past decade, which would have turned an initial £10,000 investment into £100,000 or a £100,000 investment into £1m assuming the reinvestment of dividends.
This rate of return puts GVC in an elite league. Only a few other companies have been able to achieve the same total returns for investors. Ryanair (LSE: RYA) is one of them. The airline’s aggressive expansion and desire to return all excess cash to investors has helped it produce a return of 15.7% per annum, enough to turn £100,000 into £1m if invested for 15 years.
But can these companies repeat this performance over the next decade?
No time to slow down
GVC is growing rapidly thanks to its aggressive deal-making. The company’s latest target is Ladbrokes Coral, which it is close to acquiring for £4bn, although the final price is dependent on the outcome of the UK government’s gambling review into the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals, after shareholders approved the deal this week.
Management has an impressive record of buying and integrating new businesses. In 2015, the firm merged with Bwin.party in a £1.1bn deal that is already starting to pay off. Today the company announced revenues for 2017 increased 16% to €896m, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose 40% to €239.5m mostly as a result of Bwin’s integration. 2018 is reportedly off to a solid start as well with net gaming revenues up 16% during the first few months.
So it looks as if GVC is on track to repeat its 2017 performance this year, and if the merger with Ladbrokes goes well (if management can replicate its success with other acquisitions), investors could be well rewarded as the deal will effectively double the size of the business. The shares currently trade at a forward P/E of 15.3 and support a dividend yield of 3.6%.
Shares in low-cost airline Ryanair hit turbulence in 2017 as the company was forced to ground part of its fleet and cancel thousands of flights after a pilot rostering error which left it without enough crew to operate. This hit growth with passengers numbers expanding only 3% year-on-year during December, down from a growth rate of 20% recorded for 2016.
However, the company and the City expect to return to form this year. The airline is promising “even lower fares for 2018“, and the City is predicting earnings per share growth of 15.4% for 2018. Based on these figures, shares in the airline are trading at a forward P/E of 13.5, a multiple that looks cheap compared to the airline’s earnings growth. Indeed, based on these figures the stock is trading at a PEG ratio of 0.9.
It’s not just Ryanair’s earnings growth that will lead to returns for investors. The company is proud of its record of returning additional cash to shareholders with a whole page on its website devoted to highlighting capital returns. Since 2008, the group has returned €5.4bn to investors via both buybacks and dividends, which is around €4.50 per share or 28% of today’s share price.
Considering all of the above, as long as Ryanair can keep up with its record of cash returns and earnings growth, I believe the shares could go on to make another million for investors.
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Rupert Hargreaves owns no share mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended GVC Holdings. 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.