Whether you love, hate or are pretty indifferent to Britain’s planned withdrawal from the European Union, one thing’s for sure: the landscape is ripe for trade at Begbies Traynor Group (LSE: BEG) to continue taking off. Fresh Parliamentary wrangling this week means that an extension of our membership to the end of January at least appears to be very much on the cards.
It’s not just that UK business fears the possible impact of a no-deal Brexit (not that the possibility of a disorderly withdrawal has been removed from the table). It’s that uncertainty over whatever kind of future relationship Britain will have with the EU, and when this will officially kick in, is also dealing a hammer blow to investment decisions.
Business is battered
The consequence is that the number of corporate insolvencies is booming. A recent study from credit insurance and debt collection giant Atradius suggested that the number of UK insolvencies would leap 10% in 2019. And the prolonging of our withdrawal from the continental trading club means that the number of businesses going bust is set to keep on rising.
What’s more, by embarking on a busy acquisition drive, the AIM firm is capitalising on this favourable environment to its fullest. Following on from the takeover of restructuring and turnaround specialist Regeneratus in September, it announced this week plans to pay £4m for Ernest Wilson, which provides agency services for the sale of small businesses.
Accordingly City brokers expect earnings at Begbies Traynor to rise 12% in the fiscal year ending April 2020 alone, and there’s two reasons to celebrate this. Firstly it creates an undemanding P/E ratio of around 15 times. Secondly, it leads to predictions of more dividend growth too, resulting in an inflation-beating 3.3% yield.
In the article referenced to above, I explained why gold diggers like Centamin could rise in 2020 in the months ahead on the back of fresh safe-haven bullion buying. I also suggested that it’s a brilliant buy today because of recent heavy selling.
I would argue, too, that Highland Gold Mining (LSE: HGM) is another precious metals pearl that’s too good to pass up following recent share price weakness. City predictions of a 75% profits rise in 2019 leaves it trading on a dirt-cheap forward P/E ratio of 9.4 times, while at current values it boasts a bulging 4.4% dividend yield too.
It’s clear, though, that a rosy outlook for gold prices isn’t the only reason to snap up Highland shares today. Latest production data this week showed that the AIM-quoted digger pulled 7% more gold out of the ground in the first three quarters of 2019 than in the same period of last year, at 217,298 ounces. And steps to ramp up production across its Russian assets means that the total should keep rising into 2020 and beyond, pushing profits skywards as well.
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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.