And I’m delighted to say that latest trading details — which propelled the landscaping product manufacturer’s share price to record peaks above 480p per share earlier this week — have reinforced my positive view.
Marshalls saw revenues leap 12% between January and June to £244.3m, a result that drove pre-tax profit higher by an identical percentage to £32.5m. The result was particularly impressive given the significant impact of storms during the period. What’s more, during June (as well as July) turnover leapt 21% year-on-year. This encouraged it to lift the interim dividend 18% to 4p per share.
The business continues to thrive despite the maroeconomic uncertainty that is denting industry demand. Indeed, Marshalls noted Construction Products Association predictions pointing to a 0.6% decline in UK volumes in 2018. And there’s plenty of reason to expect sales at the paving slab provider to really take off in 2019 as the association predicts industry volumes will leap 2.3% next year.
City analysts are certainly bullish and they expect earnings to rise 12% this year alone, a figure that is suggestive of further dividend growth.
Payouts have almost tripled over the past five years, culminating in 2017’s 14.2p per share dividend which included the provision of special dividends. These supplementary rewards are expected to keep on coming, culminating in predictions of a 14.3p dividend for 2018, meaning the yield sits at a healthy 3%.
This might not be the biggest yield on offer, but given the rate at which earnings are tearing skywards, and cash generation continues to impress, I wouldn’t be surprised to be current dividend projections fall short of the actual payout. All things considered, I reckon Marshalls is a brilliant share to buy today, a company fully deserving of an expensive forward P/E ratio of 19.2 times.
As safe as houses
That said, if you’re seeking gigantic dividend yields now, then Bellway (LSE: BWY) may well be your sort of thing.
Like Marshalls, dividends have progressed at quite a pace over the past half decade, up 307% to be exact in the five years to July 2017. And supported by predictions of additional double-digit profits growth in the period just passed, the dividend is expected to rise again to 138.2p per share from 122p last year.
But what about now? Well, City analysts are forecasting a 145.4p payout for fiscal 2019, supported by an anticipated 5% earnings improvement and meaning investors can enjoy a chunky yield of 4.9%.
Bellway isn’t without its problems, the FTSE 250 business advising this month that “house price inflation has moderated” over the past 12 months. Fears over future property price growth is reflected in the company’s dirt-cheap valuation, a prospective earnings multiple of 7 times.
I would consider this rating to be scandalously low, however, given that the market remains strong enough to support decent profits and thus dividend expansion, and is likely to continue to do so. Despite modest home price inflation in fiscal 2018, Bellway still recorded a 16% revenues improvement thanks to it selling more than 10,000 homes last year for the first time.
What’s more, a chunky forward order book of 4,841 homes as of July suggests that the top line should keep ripping higher for some time yet. I reckon the housebuilder could make you a fortune by the time you come to retire.
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.