Like any stock sector, Britain’s housebuilding segment is not without its degree of risk. However, I would consider investors to be far too cautious over the profits outlook for the majority of our construction firms, and this is reflected in their dirt-cheap valuations.
Springfield Properties (LSE: SPR) is one such share I reckon share pickers are far too pessimistic about as I write today.
The Scottish company, which was only admitted to AIM trading in October, is expected to print earnings of 9.1p per share for the year to May. And City analysts are expecting it to build on this with rises of 16% and 11% in fiscal 2019 and 2020 respectively.
And I believe Springfield — which specialises in housing north of the border — has what it takes to make good on these forecasts. Its latest financial release showed revenues leaping 11% during the six months to November, to £54.8m, a result that powered pre-tax profit 20% higher to £3.1m.
What’s more, the company continued to invest in its land bank to keep revenues rising, lifting it to 10,605 plots in the period from 9,195 plots six months earlier, and the number of active sites to 29 from 25 in May, to help it remedy Scotland’s chronic homes shortfall.
Make no mistake, supply is likely to continue outstripping demand in the homes market for some time yet, a scenario that should keep propelling profits and dividends higher at Springfield as it steps up its building plans.
Looking more closely at dividends, with the company also taking bites out of its debt pile (net debt fell to £13.7m as of November from £31.1m a year earlier), the predicted payout of 3.7p per share for the current year is expected to shoot to 4.3p in fiscal 2019 and to 5p next year. These projections of significant dividend growth drive a handy 3.1% yield in fiscal 2018 to 3.6% next year and 4.2% in the following period.
With anticipated payments covered by earnings estimates by around 2.5 times through to the close of next year, comfortably inside the accepted security terrain of 2 times or above, I reckon Springfield is a great bet to make good on these estimates too.
The 5% yielder
Go-Ahead Group (LSE: GOG) is another income share investors need to consider today even if it is not expected to deliver the same sort of earnings performance as the homebuilder, at least not in the medium term.
City brokers are predicting earnings dips of 16% and 11% for the years ending June 2018 and 2019 respectively, these numbers reflecting the difficulties the Go-Ahead is facing in both the rail and bus markets. However, thanks to its strong balance sheet, the FTSE 250 business is expected to still keep dividends on hold at 102.08p per share through the next two years, cementing the yield at a terrific 5.4%.
Now Go-Ahead still has some way to go before its turnaround strategy can be considered a success. But in my opinion this is more than reflected in the transport giant’s low forward P/E multiple of 10.3 times.
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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.