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3 top FTSE 100 growth stocks I’d buy right now

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Sales and marketing play DCC’s (LSE: DCC) rich record of double-digit-percentage earnings rises over the past half a decade makes it a brilliant selection for those seeking great growth stocks on the FTSE 100

Latest trading details from the firm have certainly emboldened my optimism, the business last month declaring that operating profits were “significantly ahead” year-on-year in the three months to December. Titanic acquisitions at its LPG and Health & Beauty divisions helped to drive the result but this was not the only story as, despite the impact of mild weather on energy demand and civil disturbance across France it remained resilient on an organic basis too. 

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City analysts are predicting earnings rises of 13% and 4% for the years to March 2019 and 2020 respectively, leaving the firm dealing on a forward P/E ratio of 18.4 times. A slightly-toppy rating, sure, but one which is fitting for a share with as strong a growth pedigree as this.

A safe selection

Halma (LSE: HLMA) is another British blue-chip with a brilliant history of earnings growth and therefore another premium rating. In fact, this Footsie health and safety equipment maker’s prospective P/E multiple of 29.6 times soars over the broadly-considered value reservation of 15 times and below. 

Health and safety is big business all over the globe, needless to say, and thanks to its wide geographic footprint straddling major economies across Europe, North America and the US it’s well placed to enjoy strong sales growth in the years ahead.

I’m also encouraged by the fact that its appetite for acquisitions shows no signs of dulling. Following the purchase of British radar surveillance specialist Navtech Radar in November, it was breaking out the chequebook again in January with the takeover of US emergency communications system builder Rath Communications last month.

The number crunchers certainly expect profits at Halma to keep sprinting higher and are anticipating rises of 12% in the year to March 2019 and 9% in fiscal 2020.

A tasty selection

Drinks giant Diageo (LSE: DGE) is a FTSE 100 company that I hold in such high regard that I own shares in the company myself.

Now look, its growth record has been not as good as either Halma or DCC’s over the past half a decade, because of a severe demand-drop off in China due to anti-corruption measures there.

However, through a wide variety of measures, from increasing marketing activities to doubling-down on brand innovation, to expanding its presence in the fast-growing premium segment and restructuring its drinks portfolio through acquisitions and disposals, Diageo has put those past pains behind it. City brokers also think so and are reckoning on bottom-line rises of 8% and 7% in the fiscal years to June 2019 and 2020 respectively.

The drinks giant is always in danger of suffering temporary earnings pressure like that mentioned but, because of the formidable strength of its labels, it’s still in prime position to deliver strong profits growth over the long term. And this quality makes the business worthy of a toppy forward P/E multiple of 23.5 times, in my opinion.

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Royston Wild owns shares of Diageo. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Diageo and Halma. 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.

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