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LONDON -- These three shares stand to benefit from the following global trends:
Consumers today are not settling for contactability via a mobile phone. They demand continued, mobile connectivity to a huge range of information services: email, social networking, shopping, and so on. Consumers want to use their mobile devices to place bets, set TV shows to record and access their bank accounts.
As consumers become increasingly dependent on mobile provision, services from a company such as Vodafone (LSE: VOD ) (NASDAQ: VOD ) become less discretionary. This is always good for a business' prices and margins.
Some concerns exist over Vodafone's current trading, particularly in southern Europe. However, analysts expect Vodafone to increase both earnings and dividends this year and next. This puts the shares on a 2015 P/E of 11.2, with a forecast yield of 5.6%.
Limited food supply
Global population growth is pushing up demand for food, which has led to price rises and increased efforts to raise crop yields.
As a supplier of food brands such as Twinings, Ryvita, and Kingsmill, Associated British Foods (LSE: ABF ) will be working to ensure that it can pass on increased costs to its customers.
The company also has a significant agriculture business that provides technology solutions to farmers and livestock feed manufacturers. In the first six months of the year, this part of the business delivered a 25% increase in operating profit from sales growth of just 7%.
Analysts expected 2014 earnings per share at AB Foods to be 32% higher than was achieved in 2012.
In the last 10 years, real GDP growth in sub-Saharan Africa has increased from 3% per annum to 6.6%. That performance is on a par with the growth being delivered by the BRIC nations (Brazil, India, Russia, China).
For an increasing number of U.K.-listed companies, Africa is their number one growth market. One example is super-brewer SABMiller (LSE: SAB ) (NASDAQOTH: SBMRY ) . In its recent final results, SAB reported 18% sales growth in Africa versus just 5% in Europe. The EBITDA contribution from Africa was 20% ahead of the previous year, too.
Analysts expect double-digit earnings and dividend growth from SABMiller for the next two years. Those projections put the shares on a 2014 P/E of 19.5, with an expected yield of 2.2%.
The long-term benefits of these trends look set to reward smart investment in well-positioned companies. And our team of analysts here at the Motley Fool have scoured the markets to find five companies that they believe are best-set for the long term.
To read our experts' analysis on these opportunities, get the latest Motley Fool report "5 Shares to Retire On." This research is totally free, and will be delivered to your inbox immediately. Just click here to get your copy today.