Is Now the Time to Buy Admiral Group?

LONDON -- I'm always searching for shares that can help ordinary investors like you make money from the stock market.

So right now I am trawling through the FTSE 100 and giving my verdict on every member of the blue-chip index. Simply put, I'm hoping to pinpoint the very best buying opportunities in today's uncertain market.

Today I am looking at Admiral  (LSE: ADM  ) to determine whether you should consider buying the shares at 1,357 pence.

I am assessing each company on several ratios:

Price/Earnings (P/E): Does the share look good value when compared against its competitors?

Price Earnings Growth (PEG): Does the share look good value factoring in predicted growth?

Yield: Does the share provide a solid income for investors?

Dividend Cover: Is the dividend sustainable?

So, let's look at the numbers:

Stock Price 3-Yr. EPS Growth Projected P/E PEG Yield 3-Yr. Dividend Growth Dividend Cover
Admiral 1,357p 32% 14.2 14.2 5% 32% 2.2

The consensus analyst estimate for this year's earnings per share is 95.5 pence (no growth) and dividend per share is 90.3 pence (no growth).

Firstly, I should mention the consensus analyst estimate for this year's 90.3 pence per share dividend includes potential special dividends the company may declare. (Since its flotation, Admiral has consistently paid special dividends alongside ordinary dividends). Based on the company's ordinary dividend history, however, and evaluating City forecasts further, I believe the regular payout for this year may well be left unchanged at 43 pence per share.

Anyway, trading on a projected P/E of 14.2, Admiral appears to be slightly more expensive than its peers in the non-life insurance sector, which are currently trading on an average P/E of around 13. In addition, Admiral's P/E and low near-term projected growth rate give a PEG ratio of 14.2, which cannot help with my analysis.

Currently, Admiral supports a 5% dividend yield, which is slightly above the sector average of 4.7%. However, this yield figure includes a one-off special dividend of 24 pence a share. With the special dividend excluded, I believe the yield could be closer to 3.2% -- below the sector average.

That said, Admiral's regular payout has grown a compounded 32% during the past three years, indicating that the regular payout could soon catch up to that of the group's peers. Indeed, the regular dividend payout is more than two times covered by earnings, giving plenty of room for further growth.

So is now the time to buy Admiral?
2012 was Admiral's 20th anniversary and the company's most successful year to date. Indeed, within the company's full-year results released only last week, Admiral announced group profits were up 15% to 345 million pounds. However, the company did report a full-year loss of 24 million poundsfor its international operations.

Nonetheless, the majority of Admiral's divisions performed strongly and profits from the company's comparison website, confused.com, expanded by 13% during 2012.

Furthermore, Admiral is seeking to expand its international operations and diversify into new markets. For example, the company recently started offering home insurance to its U.K. customers as well as launch a new online comparison website focused on customers within the United States.

Unfortunately, despite Admiral's special divided and solid growth last year, the firm currently looks expensive compared to its peers and near-term earnings growth. So overall, I believe now does not look to be a good time to buy Admiral at 1,357 pence.

More FTSE opportunities
Although I feel now may not be the time to buy Admiral, I am more positive on the FTSE 100 share highlighted within this exclusive free report.

You see, the blue chip in question offers a 5.7% income, its shares might be worth 850 pence compared to about 700 pence now -- and it has just been declared "The Motley Fool's Top Income Stock for 2013"!

Just click here to read the report -- it's free.

In the meantime, please stay tuned for my next verdict on a FTSE 100 share.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2308470, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 11/22/2014 9:30:55 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement