Weir Group (LSE: WEIR) has had a rough time over the past decade. The engineering company, which specialises in producing equipment for the mining and oil & gas industries, saw a spike in orders in the years immediately after the financial crisis. Unfortunately, this demand vanished in 2014.
Making a comeback
As a result, Weir’s profits collapsed. The company earned £334m in 2013 and £73m in 2014. By 2015, it was making a loss, to the tune of £179m for 2015.
Earnings started to recover in 2016, but it’s taken three years for Weir to get back to where it was in 2013. For 2019, the City is expecting the firm to report net income of £233m, or earnings per share of 94p. Based on these figures, the stock is trading at a forward P/E of 15.8.
Further growth is predicted for 2020 as demand continues to improve. Analysts have pencilled in growth of 19% for the year, taking earnings to 112p per share. I’m confident Weir can hit this lofty growth target. After years of cutting back, it now looks as if the mining industry is starting to spend again, which is good news for the company.
Indeed, today the group announced it had received its largest ever single order ($100m) from one company to provide industry-leading, energy-saving solutions to the Iron Bridge Magnetite Project in Australia. If this trend continues, I think there’s a good chance Weir could outperform City expectations for 2020.
With the stock currently trading at a forward P/E of 13 (for 2020) in line with the sector average, there’s a good chance its shares could jump higher if it beats the City. A yield of 3.2% sweetens the appeal, in my view.
Another FTSE 250 growth stock I think would be a great addition to any portfolio is Equiniti (LSE: EQN). You might not have heard of this business, but there’s a good chance you’ve made use of its services.
Equiniti provides complex administration and payment services for the financial services industry. It takes on the jobs other companies don’t want, such as pension administration, share registration, and international payments to corporate clients. These are hardly exciting businesses, but they’re essential, and Equiniti has carved out a highly profitable niche for itself here.
Following a significant acquisition in the US, Equiniti’s revenue has jumped from £382m in 2016 to £530m for 2018. It’s projected to hit £560m in 2019, according to City analysts. Thanks to deal synergies, net income will more than triple in 2019, from £18m last year to £72m for 2019.
Based on these forecasts, the stock is currently dealing at a forward P/E of just 11. That’s just too cheap, in my opinion, for such a high-quality, niche business that’s set to triple net income for 2019. As well as the discount valuation, shares in the administration giant also support a dividend yield of 2.8%.
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Rupert Hargreaves owns no share mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of Equiniti. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Weir. 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.