LONDON -- With 2012 results reason continuing, we've already brought you news of some FTSE 100 companies set to release results next week. There are certainly bargains to be had these days, and one way of looking for them is to investigate companies ahead of their results. So here are three more, all scheduled for Friday -- and they include a couple of financials that look to be recovering well.
Lloyds (LSE: LLOY ) (NYSE: LYG )
Lloyds Banking Group will release results next Friday. After 2011's record loss of 3.5 billion pounds, the year to December 2012 is expected to show a pre-tax profit of about 2 billion pounds, with double-digit earnings-per-share rises forecast for the next two years. At the third-quarter stage, announced in November, underlying profit was reported to be 1.9 billion pounds.
On the current price of 54.5 pence, predicted 2012 EPS puts the shares on a price-to-earnings ratio of 19, but that should halve by 2014 if forecasts prove accurate. So even though the share price has gained more than 50% over the past 12 months, there may well be further to go before Lloyds gets back to normality.
Old Mutual (LSE: OML )
Insurer Old Mutual also reports next Friday, at a time when insurance shares have been doing well. Old Mutual itself is up 25% over the past 12 months to 199 pence, but even after that growth the shares are on a modest P/E of 12 based on 2012 expectations. At Q3 time in November, we heard that funds under management in core operations were up 4% to 263 billion pounds, and chief executive Julian Roberts described it as "another quarter of good operational progress overall."
EPS has been declining for four years, and the dividend was slashed in 2008 and again in 2009. But since then, Old Mutual has been raising its dividend each year and is expected to continue for the next two years -- there's a yield of 3.1% expected for 2012. But of more importance is a return to earnings growth, with a boost of more than 50% predicted. The next couple of years are forecast to bring in further rises in earnings, too.
WPP (LSE: WPP )
Advertising and media giant WPP's shares have soared by 30% over the past year to 1,039 pence today. And that has pretty much all been due to a steep climb following the company's third-quarter trading update in October. Revenues were up 4.2% to 7.2 billion pounds over the nine-month period, with like-for-like revenue up 3%.
Forecasts for the full year suggest just a 2% rise in EPS, but on the current price, that puts the shares on a relatively undemanding P/E of 14. And if the company's current guidance that 2014 should be a good year for advertising revenue holds good, the shares might be attractively priced now. WPP's results are also scheduled for Friday.
Coming out of a recession when depressed share prices are recovering, the odds can be tipped in favor of growth investors. But finding the best growth shares is not easy. If you want some help with the task, I recommend you get yourself a copy of our brand-new report "The Motley Fool's Top Growth Share For 2013," which is the result of some serious brain-work by the Fool's top analysts. It's completely free of charge, but it will be available for a limited period only. So click here to get your copy today.