I’d be extremely happy to buy and cling onto Ashtead Group (LSE: AHT) on the back of its sterling record of breakneck earnings and dividend growth.
The business, which rents out industrial equipment to a wide array of sectors across North America and the UK, has seen earnings more than double during the four fiscal years to April 2017. Reflecting this, excellent growth dividends have swollen from 11.5p per share way back in fiscal 2014 to 27.5p over the period, too.
Ashtead is expected to report an additional 25% rise in the period just passed when it releases full-year trading details on Tuesday, June 19, and to announce a 32.7p per share dividend as well. What’s more, City analysts don’t believe the Footsie firm is done yet.
Buy it and keep it
Current forecasts are suggestive of a 21% earnings rise in the current year and a 12% advance in fiscal 2020. And it’s no surprise that dividends are expected to keep sprinting northwards as well — payments of 37.4p and 40p per share are predicted for this year and next, respectively, resulting in handy-if-unspectacular yields of 1.6% and 1.7%.
Despite its proven star power, Ashtead can be picked up a forward P/E ratio of 15.2 times. This is much, much too cheap in my opinion as conditions in its markets remain robust. And against this backdrop, I expect its share price, which has jumped 50% over the past 12 months alone, to continue detonating.
The trading environment remains extremely favourable and Ashtead reported in April that it “has continued to perform well in the fourth quarter of the current financial year.” Stable market conditions, particularly over in the US for its core Sunbelt division, is likely to keep business activity ticking higher.
And in the longer term, Ashtead is driving to increase its location footprint across the Atlantic by 50% over the next three years. That’s via its ‘Project 2021’ banner, and will be achieved through an ongoing M&A frenzy, as well organic expansion, that should ensure solid market share growth and give profits an extra boost.
Another investment hero
TUI Travel (LSE: TUI) may not boast as long a history of strong earnings and dividend improvement as Ashtead, but this makes it no less of a great FTSE 100 investment destination, in my opinion.
As I noted back in April, the package holiday giant is having a ball right now as strong economic conditions in its geographical heartlands underpins demand for its sun-drenched services. This was illustrated by great trading numbers last month in which TUI advised that revenues, at constant exchange rates, sprinted 8.5% higher year-on-year in the six months to March, to €6.81m.
Reflecting soaring sales, City estimates suggest that earnings growth of 11% and 12% is in the offing for the years ending September 2018 and 2019, respectively. Moreover, dividends are expected to rise at an exciting rate as well — last year’s reward of 65 euro cents per share will rise to 72 euro cents this year, or so say broker forecasts, and then again to 80 euro cents in fiscal 2019.
Subsequent yields of 3.6% and 4% should make your ears prick up, as should TUI’s undemanding forward P/E ratio of 15.6 times. I reckon the travel titan is a terrific FTSE 100 share to buy today.
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