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2 FTSE 250 dividend plus growth stocks I’d buy for my ISA today

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Great news! I’ve identified two potential buying opportunities I’d like to share with you today.

Both firms are FTSE 250 dividend growth stocks with a track record of creating value for shareholders. They could be perfect ISA stocks to buy ahead of the 5 April deadline.

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A cash machine

Shares of IT services group Computacenter (LSE: CCC) fell by about 6% in early trade this morning. The company — which builds data centres and provides related services — reported that sales rose by 17% to £3,793m in 2017, while adjusted pre-tax profit climbed 23% to £106.2m.

Shareholders will receive a total dividend of 26.1p per share for the year, a 17.6% increase on 2016.

The group’s net cash balance rose impressively from £144.5m to £191.2m last year, and some of this cash has already been returned to shareholders.

In January Computacenter announced a tender offer which saw the firm buy back £100m of shares from its shareholders. This reduced the group’s share count by 6.97% and should help to support future earnings and dividend growth.

Why are the shares falling?

I think the stock has fallen today because growth expectations for the year ahead are fairly modest. Broker consensus forecasts compiled ahead of today’s results indicate that earnings per share are only expected to rise by around 3% this year.

With the stock trading on a forecast P/E of 17 and offering a yield of just 2.3%, I might normally describe the shares as fully-priced. But in this case I’m going to make an exception.

Computacenter has a track record of outperforming expectations. Earnings forecasts for 2017 rose from 55p in March 2017 to 64p by January. It’s also a very profitable business. Return on capital employed was 21% last year, indicating a strong return on the money that’s tied up in the business.

In my view these factors deserve a premium rating. I’d be happy to buy this stock at current levels.

There’s no comparison

Price comparison group Group (LSE: MONY) fell by 14% on one day in February, after the firm admitted that investment in its next generation of services would limit short-term growth.

The group aims to make price comparison much more personalised and to increase its focus on the mortgage market. Chief executive Mark Lewis says that the firm hopes to show people ways to save “they didn’t know existed”.

This won’t come cheap. Additional costs of £11m-£14m are expected this year as the group’s engineering teams are expanded and reshaped.

On the rebound already? shares hit a 52-week low of 241p earlier this year but have already bounced back to 282p. I believe further gains are likely.

It’s worth remembering just how profitable this business is. I commented on Computacenter’s impressive ROCE of 21%, but is one of an elite group of companies which generates returns at more than double this level.

The comparison firm’s ROCE was a stunning 54% last year, a new record after years of growth. This figure could dip in 2018, but if the firm can maintain this kind of performance, investment spending now should deliver bumper returns in coming years.

With the stock trading on 16.5 times 2018 forecast earnings and offering a cash-backed dividend yield of 3.8%, I believe could be a great ISA buy.

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Roland Head has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended 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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