Motley Fool

Saturday, May 27, 2017 - 10:09

Warren Buffett is undoubtedly the most famous, and most successful, investor of all time. He is one of the richest people in the world, and has consistently outperformed the S&P 500 over a prolonged period. Therefore, it is unsurprising that many investors will try to emulate his success.

Of course, due to the scale of success he has enjoyed and the difficulties associated in replicating it, some investors may feel that Buffett's investment performance may be down to luck rather than judgement. Here's why that does not seem to be the case.

Saturday, May 27, 2017 - 09:00

Today, I'm looking at two growth stocks with solid long-term potential.


Provident Financial (LSE:PFG) isn't a household name, but you may be familiar with some of its advertised brand names, such as Vanquis, Moneybarn and Satsuma Loans.

Saturday, May 27, 2017 - 08:30

I have long been convinced by the long-term growth profile of BBA Aviation (LSE:BBA). And the market is increasingly cottoning onto its perky bottom-line outlook too, the stock striking fresh record peaks above 316p per share just today.

Saturday, May 27, 2017 - 08:00

Even those with only a passing interest can't have failed to notice the behaviour of markets over the last few weeks and months. While the Trump/Russia soap opera continues to play out, North Korea continues to fire sea-bound rockets and terrorists continue to target innocents, stock markets here and across the pond continue to hit record highs.

The problem with any sustained rise however, is that optimism often transforms into complacency which in turn gives rise to greater risk-taking. So, should clued-up Foolish readers now prepare themselves for the worst? Here's my take.

Friday, May 26, 2017 - 15:47

Shares in Alumasc Group (LSE:ALU) have gained more than 50% since last June, hitting 183p, and they've almost trebled over the past five years.

But that tasty price growth has been going hand in hand with rising EPS and dividends, so we're not seeing a high valuation. Earnings rose by 50% between 2013 and 2016, while the dividend put on 44% in the same period.

Friday, May 26, 2017 - 15:34

A shocking trading statement in February sent shares in Domino's Pizza Group (LSE:DOM) packing and, while since bouncing off of the lows, the takeaway titan is yet to crank higher again. Indeed, the stock remains 21% lower from its pre-release levels.

Look, I'm not going to pretend that the foodie's full-year financials didn't throw up some serious cause for concern. Like-for-like sales at Domino's grew just 1.5% during the first nine weeks of 2016, the company advised, an eye-watering reduction from the 7.5% advance enjoyed during the whole of 2016.

Friday, May 26, 2017 - 13:24
  1. Instrument and control engineer Spectris (LSE:SXS) has suffered a few years of tough market conditions, with North American trading subject to that unwelcome epithet "challenging".

Though statutory 2016 results looked bad, the year was impacted by one-offs including a £115m impairment relating to Omega Engineering and ESG Solutions. That alone reduced the firm's EPS figure by a massive 96.8p to just 8.6p -- but adjusted EPS came in at 127.5p, for a rise of 12%.

Friday, May 26, 2017 - 12:33

Even though the share price of Intertek Group (LSE:ITRK) has ripped higher recently, I believe the tester still offers plenty of upside at the moment.

The FTSE 100 play has seen its share value detonate 23% during the past three months, hitting record tops of £43 per share in the process just this week. And while the stock may have dipped on Friday following latest trading details, this represents nothing more than light profit booking in my opinion.

Friday, May 26, 2017 - 12:27

Shares in Frankie and Benny's, Garfunkel's and Chiquito owner Restaurant Group (LSE:RTN) rocketed 10% in early trading this morning as the company hinted that its much-needed turnaround plan was beginning to bear fruit. Does this now make it one of the Footsie's best bargains or is there still too much risk attached to the shares? Let's check the numbers.

Friday, May 26, 2017 - 11:15

British Empire Trust (LSE:BTEM) flies under the radar of most investors because it's not one of the market's glamour stocks. However, over the past year, the £810m market cap trust has achieved staggering returns for investors, and it looks as if these returns are set to continue.

Friday, May 26, 2017 - 10:59

Investors who buy stocks based on company fundamentals are often able to ignore what's going on in the wider market. But that's not always possible.

The two companies I'm looking at today could equally be described as overvalued or as good value. Which of these descriptions you choose depends mostly on your view of the UK property market.

Both of these companies look like good businesses to me, but is now the time to buy?

Friday, May 26, 2017 - 10:15

Fast-growing small-cap stocks often trade at eye-wateringly high valuations. Having said that, it's not impossible to find companies that offer impressive growth at attractive valuations. Here's a look at two smaller growth stocks that appear to be trading at bargain valuations.

Friday, May 26, 2017 - 07:00

Intu Properties (LSE:INTU) is odds-on for relegation from the FTSE 100 when the FTSE committee publishes its latest quarterly index review on Wednesday. G4S (LSE:GFS) currently sits in pole position to take its place.

According to my sums, Hikma Pharmaceuticals is also teetering on the brink of demotion, which could pave the way for Segro to join G4S in the top index.

Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 20:35

At first glance Lloyds Banking Group (LSE:LLOY) may still appear to be one of the FTSE 100's hottest dividend bets.

After getting its dividend policy back up and running in early 2015, the fruits of its multi-year cost cutting plan has seen the bank deliver chunky annual increases since then. And City analysts expect Lloyds' generous policy to keep on trucking -- indeed, a payout of 3.7p per share (up from 2.55p last year) is chalked in for 2017.

Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 16:22

Despite still battling away in a difficult marketplace, I reckon Premier Foods (LSE:PFD) recent strategy shift towards cutting costs and away from boosting sales could lead back to chunky earnings growth.

The Mr Kipling manufacturer saw underlying sales slip 1.4% during the year ending March 2017 to £790.4m, while adjusted pre-tax profits dived 11.8% to £74.2m.

Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 16:20

Although small-cap stocks are generally considered to be riskier investments than more mature large-cap companies, they often deliver greater returns over the long term. Small-cap stocks are also more commonly mis-priced by investors due to behavioural biases and their perceived business risks, which enables investors to occasionally find some hidden gems.

With this in mind, I'm taking a look at two small-cap stocks with serious upside potential.

Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 16:04

Young & Cos Brewery (LSE:YNGA) has been recording steady growth in recent years, with earnings per share soaring from 42.8p in 2014 to 58.4p just two years later.

And results to April 2017 have shown more of the same, with adjusted EPS up a further 13.7% to 66.43p. That came from a 9.4% rise in revenue leading to a 13.5% jump in adjusted pre-tax profit, and enabled the company to lift its dividend by 6% to 18.5p per share. On a share price of 1,344p, that's a yield of only 1.4%, but it's nicely progressive and is outstripping inflation.

Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 15:30

City analysts following drinks and impulse purchase goods wholesaler, distributor and retailer Conviviality (LSE:CVR) predict the firm will increase its earnings by 15% during the trading year to April 2018 and by 8% the year after.

Those expectations seem robust and in a trading update released this morning, they confirmed that current trading is strong. So why is the company's valuation so modest?

Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 15:17

Sales at discount retailer B&M European Value Retail (LSE:BME) rose by a healthy 19.4% to £2.4bn last year. The group's rapid store expansion doesn't appear to be stealing sales from older stores, either. Like-for-like sales rose by 3.1% during the year to March and B&M said it has made "an excellent start" to fiscal 2018.

Profit margins remained stable across the group, resulting in pre-tax profits rising by 18.4% to £182.9m. Adjusted earnings per share were 22% higher, at 14.9p.

Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 15:10

When the oil price crashed, BP (LSE:BP) boss Bob Dudley reckoned we could be in for an extended period of low prices, but BP committed itself to keeping its dividend going.