There are not many companies that can claim Brexit is already helping them win business. BAE Systems (LSE: BA) might not be stating this publicly, but over the past few months, the company has emerged as a front-runner for the success story of Brexit Britain.
At the end of June, it was revealed that BAE had beaten Italian and Spanish rivals to win a £20bn contract to build Australia‘s new fleet of warships over 30 years. The company is also likely to be instrumental in helping the UK government develop a new next-generation fighter jet — a commitment by policymakers to ensure Britain retains its cutting-edge combat expertise after Brexit.
Details on the air combat strategy are expected to released this week at the Farnborough Airshow.
Ships and planes are only part of BAE’s arsenal. The company is also a world leader in cybersecurity, a market that is seeing rapid growth around the world.
In other words, BAE is well positioned for growth over the next few decades. And I believe the company’s potential makes it the perfect pick for any retirement portfolio.
Unlike most companies, BAE tends to sign multi-decade development and maintenance contracts with its customers. Primarily because competitors cannot access its intellectual property. Warren Buffett always mentions a company’s ‘moat’ when talking about its investment potential, and thanks to its intellectual property, BAE’s ‘moat’ is both wide and deep.
With this being the case, I believe the stock’s current valuation of 14.8 times forward earnings is not that demanding, especially when analysts think EPS could jump 31% over the next two years.
Not only is the company on a growth trajectory, but the stock also supports a dividend yield of 3.4% with the distribution covered twice by EPS.
If you are looking for an income-growth stock to include in your retirement portfolio, BAE looks to me to be the perfect buy.
Return to growth
Another company that I believe is well placed to churn out steady returns for investors over the long term is AstraZeneca (LSE: AZN).
With the company expected to return to growth in 2018, after five years of stagnation, investors have recently pushed shares in Astra to a new all-time high. This vote of confidence in a business is also a vote of confidence in management’s strategy to pursue the development of oncology treatments.
City analysts believe the launch of new treatments will help the company boost EPS by 53% in 2018 and then 16% in 2019 (to $3.87). Unfortunately, even after this growth, Astra’s earnings will still be below the high-water mark of $4.94 reached in 2012, but the return to growth is more symbolic for the group, which has been struggling to ignite revenue expansion since 2012 after it started to lose exclusivity over its flagship Crestor product.
A return to growth proves to investors and analysts that Astra is on the comeback trail. City analysts believe that some of the company’s cancer treatments currently under development could easily replace the lost sales from Crestor over the next few years.
Considering these forecasts, even though the stock has recently hit a new all-time high, I believe there could be further gains on the horizon especially as the stock’s current valuation of 18.8 times 2019 earnings is below the sector average of 20.
Rupert Hargreaves owns no share mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended AstraZeneca. 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.