I’ve long been a fan of online fashion giant Boohoo (LSE: BOO) and remain so now, even if the company has failed to break out of the downtrend that was in full flow last time I covered it in December.
That has seen it shed more than 35% of its value in less than six months. But despite this setback, I remain convinced in its ability to generate splendid returns for long-term investors.
Before I continue lauding Boohoo, however, I would like to bring your attention to a hot growth stock making headlines in Tuesday business: Polypipe Group (LSE: PLP).
Polypipe, which is one of the continent’s leading manufacturers of pipes and plumbing apparatus, announced today that revenues jumped to a record £411.7m in 2017, up 6.3% year-on-year. This propelled underlying pre-tax profit 7.9% higher to £65.7m.
Despite a difficult time for the UK construction industry amid huge economic and political uncertainty, the FTSE 250 firm still managed to deliver an 8.1% sales improvement in its home marketplace (Polypipe sources almost 90% of revenues domestically).
Driven by strong demand from the housebuilding segment, sales at its Residential Systems division jumped 10.3% from 2016 levels, growing ahead of the broader market and offsetting difficulties in the repair, maintenance and improvement (RMI) market.
And Polypipe believes the outlook remains good, commenting: “Fundamentals in Residential Systems segment continue to be strong, driven by the new housebuild sector, but UK RMI [is] likely to remain challenging.” Furthermore, it added: “[Our] commercial and Infrastructure project pipeline remains encouraging, although project delays [are] impacting short-term performance.”
Bet the house on it
Polypipe has a long history of earnings growth thanks to the strength of the British homebuilding sector, and stable conditions here are likely to keep the bottom line swelling, so say City analysts.
A 6% rise is forecast for 2018, and another 7% advance is forecast for next year. Yet despite its robust outlook, Polypipe can be picked up on an ultra-low forward P/E ratio of 13.7 times.
What’s more, the pipebuilder’s strong profit prospects and improving balance sheet are expected to keep dividends improving at quite a lick (it hiked the full-year payout 9.9% in 2017 to 11.1p). Rewards of 11.8p and 12.7p are forecast for 2018 and 2019, respectively, resulting in chubby yields of 3% and 3.2%.
Now for Boohoo. It may not be a dividend carrier, unlike Polypipe, nor does it pack the same sort of value either, with the company dealing on a forward P/E ratio of 47.1 times. However, the chances of it continuing to deliver knockout earnings growth still makes it worthy of serious attention, in my opinion.
Indeed, City analysts are expecting it to continue its record of double digit percentage improvements with rises of 25% and 27% in the years to February 2019 and 2020.
Demand for Boohoo’s fashion offer continues to rip higher across the world and, as a result of total revenues booming 93% at constant currencies in the four months to December to £228.2m, the online business revised upwards its sales forecasts for the second time in four months. And I expect plenty more sales joy to come as the company invests heavily to harness the global e-commerce boom.
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Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended boohoo.com. 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.