A bright outlook for the car insurance market convinces me that eSure Group (LSE: ESUR) should remain a lucrative dividend pick for a long time to come.
Latest numbers from the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) last week showed that car insurance premiums leapt 10.7% year-on-year excluding the impact of the Insurance Premium Tax during the final quarter of 2017.
The momentum in premium growth is clearly picking up and this was apparent in eSure’s latest set of financials. The company advised earlier in March that gross written premiums leapt 25% in 2017, to £820m, a result that caused pre-tax profit to explode 36% from the previous year, to £98.6m.
But rising premiums are not the whole story as eSure is also drawing more and more business from its competitors. Indeed, the number of in-force policies at the business climbed 9% last year to 2.37m. And the company has eyes on hitting the magic 3m marker by the start of the next decade.
Those 6%+ yields
While the competitive landscape is expected to see earnings expansion at eSure slow from the double-digit percentage improvement posted last year, a 9% anticipated rise forecast for 2018 is nothing to be scoffed at. And this positive forecast is expected to support abundant dividends too.
Last year’s 13.5p per share reward is expected to rise to 14.2p this year, resulting in a monster 6.4% yield. And the good news continues — on the back of an 11% earnings rise in 2019, the insurer is predicted to raise the dividend again to 15.4p, a number that yields an outstanding 6.9%.
ESure has seen its share price drop 27% from the peaks above 300p per share punched last July, and I see this as a prime buying opportunity. The company now changes hands on a forward P/E ratio of 10.6 times, a bargain in most cases and particularly for a firm that is growing in stature in a positive marketplace.
Take a sip
Another FTSE 250 income share worthy of close attention today is Majestic Wine (LSE: WINE).
The yields may fall some way short of those over at eSure, but those seeking robust dividend growth for the years ahead may want to take a look. In the year to March 2018 the shareholder reward is expected to rise to 5.5p per share from 3.6p per share a year earlier, supported by a fractional earnings improvement and yielding 1.2%.
Additional payout expansion is predicted in fiscal 2019 too. With profits expected to advance 19% Majestic is anticipated to raise the dividend to 6.7p, moving the yield to 1.5%.
The wine retailer doesn’t pack the same sort of value as eSure. In fact, a prospective P/E ratio of 20.9 times looks a tad toppy on paper. But this shouldn’t deter investment in my opinion — rather, this premium can be considered a small price to pay given the progress of Majestic’s transformation plan that is helping it to thrive in a tough British marketplace.
When you also factor-in the brilliant global revenues potential of Naked Wines — divisional sales in the US rose almost 10% alone in the first fiscal half, illustrating the vast growth potential here — Majestic is a great selection for those seeking robust earnings and dividend growth in the years ahead.
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Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. 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.