LONDON -- Sharing in a company's growth is the reason people invest in shares rather than bonds. The FTSE 100 is home to some companies with more than 100 years of trading history, but don't think that means their growth is behind them. Below are three companies that have increased earnings per share, on average, by more than 10% a year for the last five years.
Rio Tinto (LSE: RIO ) (NYSE: RIO )
Rio Tinto has a 67 billion pound market capitalization and employs 68,000 people worldwide.
In the last five years, Rio has increased EPS by an average of 11.8% per annum. Progress has not been smooth: EPS fell more than 50% in 2009 before doubling the year after. EPS is forecast to fall by about a third in 2012. The company is expected to return to growth in 2013, delivering EPS of $6.13. Two years of dividend increases are forecast.
The shares trade on a 2013 P/E of 9.3, with an expected yield of 3%. That's attractive, considering the company's strong market position and diverse asset base.
British American Tobacco (LSE: BATS ) (NYSEMKT: BTI )
Sales at British American Tobacco have increased from 9.8 billion pounds in 2006 to 15.4 billion pounds in 2011.
EPS has advanced at an average rate of 10.1% per annum in the last five years. By the same measure, the dividend has been increased by an average of 17.7% a year. Earnings and dividends are expected to continue increasing for the next two years. This puts the shares on a 2013 P/E of 14.6, with an expected yield of 4.5%. That's a slight premium to the average FTSE 100 stock, which (according to Digital Look) trades on a P/E of 16.2 and is expected to yield 3.3%.
Tesco (LSE: TSCO )
Tesco is one of the U.K.'s most successful companies.
In the last five years, Tesco has increased sales from 43 billion pounds to 63 billion pounds. In that time, EPS has increased at an average rate of 10.7% per annum. In that time, EPS has increased in every year but one; earnings fell by just 1% in 2009. Tesco has been increasing its dividend every year for the last 27 years.
Earnings are expected to fall 6.5% in 2013. That puts the shares on a 2013 P/E of 11.3 times forecast earnings -- not expensive for such a successful company.
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