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Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 17:00

Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (LSE:GSK) has just published its first quarter results, and investors are underwhelmed. The stock is down 2.64% after a mixed set of numbers, made worse by the currency impact of a strengthening sterling. Does that deter me from hailing it my buy of the decade? Certainly not.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 16:45

Investors on the lookout for strong and sustained dividend growth in future years should pay Britvic (LSE:BVIC) close attention.

The FTSE 250 beverages maker, helped by a lengthy record of earnings creation, has been beefing up the annual payout for many years, culminating in last year?s 8.2% year-on-year hike to 26.5p per share.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 16:30

Law firm Keystone Law Group  (LSE:KEYS) delivered its maiden full-year results report today, following its entry to the FTSE AIM market during November, with news it’s ?comfortably ahead of market expectations.?

Revenue was almost 24% higher than the previous year and earning per share shot up 71%. The firm has a ?strongly cash generative business model? and achieved organic growth during the year because of its ?reputation as a leading, quality mid-market law firm.? The company increased its fee-earning personnel count from 228 to 266.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 16:15

Shares in the UK postal operator Royal Mail (LSE:RMG) have hammered the FTSE 100 so far this year, climbing 28% during a period when the big-cap index has fallen by 3%.

Of course, such short-term movements aren’t especially significant. Looked at over the 3.5 years since the postal group’s flotation in 2013, both investments are up by around 10%. Despite this, I believe this 500-year old firm is in a good position to face the future and deserves closer attention from investors.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 16:00

This year has seen the FTSE 250 and other global stock markets experience a period of high volatility. Much of this is due to the potential risks facing the world economy, as well as uncertainty in the minds of investors. Looking ahead, it wouldn’t be a major surprise if more volatility is yet to come, given the difficulties with inflation and interest rates which could hit the world economy.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 15:45

The last year has seen the FTSE 100?s average yield rebound nicely to 4.1% as of the end of March, as embattled miners, banks and oil & gas producers have shored up their balance sheets and boosted dividends. But for investors searching for even higher yields, there are a handful of smaller stocks in the FTSE 250 offering outsized returns.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 15:30

The FTSE 100?s average yield of 4.1% as of the end of March is nothing to sneer at. But for investors who are seeking truly impressive income, one option is large-cap homebuilder Persimmon (LSE:PSN) and its 8.7% dividend yield.

Normally a yield this high would set warning bells ringing. But Persimmon is in rude health as sky-high demand from buyers — and a conscious decision by homebuilders not over-build as they have in past boom times — has kept prices for their products very high indeed.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 15:15

Shares in FTSE 100 constituent Whitbread (LSE:WTB) were down around 1% in trading this morning as investors digested the (not totally unexpected) news that its Costa coffee chain would be demerged from the company.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 14:50

While the FTSE 100 has gained 21% in the past two years, Lloyds Banking Group (LSE:LLOY) shares have managed a meagre 2%. And that’s over a period when the bank’s dividends have been storming back.

With earnings recovering strongly, the stock’s P/E multiple has slumped, and at under nine today it’s way below the FTSE 100’s long-term average of around 14. So is Lloyds actually on the road to long-term health or not?

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 14:30

Today I’m looking at two high quality businesses whose strong growth has propelled them into the blue-chip FTSE 100 index over the last few years. Both are companies I rate highly and would be happy to own at the right price.

A perfect complexion

Speciality chemicals group Croda International (LSE:CRDA) makes a wide range of products including ingredients for cosmetics, agricultural chemicals and chemicals used in lubricants.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 14:15

While interest rate rises are expected in the coming months, dividend stocks are still likely to prove popular among investors. Monetary policy tightening is due to take place at an extremely slow pace due to the risks the UK economy faces from Brexit. There also seems to be less need for a higher interest rates now that inflation has dropped back in recent months.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 14:00

Despite management’s best efforts, toymaker Character (LSE:CCT) has been unable to avoid the headwinds facing the broader retail sector over the past year.

The firm was hit particularly hard by the demise of Toys R Us, one of its largest customers. The bankruptcy forced Character to warn last year that results for the year ending August 2018 would be “significantly lower than market expectations” following the loss of income from the UK’s largest brick and mortar toy store.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 13:45

When I last wrote about cosmetics supplier Warpaint London  (LSE:W7L) in September, at the time of its interim results, the shares had plunged around 14% on the day and I said the financial figures were ?a little disappointing.? At the time I was worried about cash inflow, which was well down on the figure the year before.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 13:30

Over the past few years, Devro (LSE:DVO), a manufacturer of collagen products for the food industry and best known for its sausage casings, has struggled to grow. 

Many different factors have helped contribute to the company’s lacklustre performance. These include increased competition, rising prices and the group’s operational issues. Thanks to these issues, City analysts expect the firm to report earnings per share of 15p for 2018, down by around a quarter from 2013’s figure of 20p.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 13:15

The share price of FTSE 250 lender Metro Bank (LSE:MTRO) fell by 8% in early trade on Wednesday, making it the biggest faller in the mid-cap index.

The sell-off came after the bank announced a 21% increase in first-quarter profits and deposit growth of 41%. So why have the shares sold off? In this article I’ll explain what might be happening and consider whether big-cap rival Barclays (LSE:BARC) offers better value for investors.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 12:55

Building materials company CRH (LSE:CRH) might not look like a traditional income stock at first glance, but current City forecasts suggest this business is going to grow into one over the next few years.

Indeed according to City figures, over the next two years CRH’s dividend payout to investors is expected to grow by around 10% to ?0.75 per share by 2019. But to me, this looks like a conservative forecast given CRH’s management has always prioritised investor returns.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 12:35

Whether a company is performing well or not, it can take time for its full potential to be realised via a higher share price. In the case of a turnaround stock, the delivery of a refreshed strategy can take a number of years to have its intended impact. Similarly, a company which has sales growth that is on an upward trajectory could continue to make strong gains over a multi-year time period.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 12:15

At first glance, the suggestion that fast fashion online retail giant (LSE:BOO) is a cheap stock looks absurd, especially when compared to other companies in the sector in which it operates.

Nevertheless, relative to the share price highs reached back in September (and following a near 40% fall before today), boohoo now looks a far more attractive proposition. Factor in today’s full-year numbers and its ambitious growth strategy and I continue to be bullish on the disruptive Manchester-based business’s prospects over the long term.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 11:55

WPP (LSE:WPP) is facing the kind of disruption that it hasn’t faced since founder Martin Sorrell decided to turn what was then known as ?Wire and Plastic Products? from a shopping basket manufacturer back in the mid-1980s into the global advertising giant that it is today.

Ad budgets have been seriously shrinking for more than a year now, leading to charges against the FTSE 100 firm that it has been too slow in responding to the decline in traditional media forms and in embracing digital communications more effectively.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 11:35

While the world economy has enjoyed an increasingly prosperous period in the last five years, the performance of the FTSE 100 has been somewhat disappointing. The UK’s main index has risen by 15.6% during that time, which works out as a capital gain of around 2.9% per annum.

In contrast, the FTSE 250 has gained 43.3% (or 7.5% per annum) during the same time period. As such, hunting for mid-cap growth shares could be a shrewd move for long-term investors. With that in mind, here is an impressive growth stock which reported sound results on Wednesday.