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LONDON -- Marks and Spencer
Statistics reveal that profit forecasts at Marks and Spencer  (LSE: MKS  )

If Marks does report 33.3 pence, that would represent 15% growth on what the company made last year. However, it would still be less than the 2011 and 2012 EPS numbers.

I have some concerns over the long-term future of Marks' "big store in every high street" status. With so much more spend happening online today, I wonder just how profitable some of Marks' stores are today.

The forward price-to-earnings ratio of 12.5 suggests that the market is not especially worried. After all, Marks still has a growing food operation and online sales are increasing at a clip.

Like all of the listed utilities, SSE  (LSE: SSE  )

Earnings forecasts have recently been ticking upward. Today, earnings for the full year were expected to come in at 117.5 pence. That puts the shares on a forward P/E of 12.6.

Last month, shares in SSE traded as high as 1,676 pence. Today, the shares are down 12% from this peak.

Earnings from utility companies are known for their reliability. SSE is forecast to report growth in profits and dividends this year and next. This pushes the expected yield for 2015 to 6.2%, with a P/E of 11.7. That puts SSE among the FTSE 100's five highest-yielding shares.

Back in January, analysts were forecasting that Prudential  (LSE: PRU  ) (NYSE: PUK  )  would make EPS for the year of 77.1 pence per share. Following a series of steady upgrades, that figure is now 83.6 pence.

This means that the shares are on offer at 12.2 times consensus earnings forecasts for 2013. Another 10.1% rise in earnings is expected next year, reducing the P/E to 11.1. Prudential is forecast to increased dividends by around 6% this year and next. That would push the 2104 yield to 3.2%.

Prudential is a great play on Asia's growing middle class. As countries develop, insurance spend typically increases faster than GDP. Asia is already one of the largest parts of Prudential's business and has more dramatic growth potential.

I named Prudential one of my shares for the next five years in August last year. For more shares with potential to reward long-term investment, check out the latest Motley Fool report "5 Shares for the Long Run." This analysis is 100% free and will be delivered to your inbox immediately. Just click here to get your copy today.

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Related Tickers

10/27/2016 12:05 PM
MKS $336.21 Down -6.09 -1.78%
Marks & Spencer Gr… CAPS Rating: No stars
PRU $1393.95 Down -2.56 -0.18%
Prudential CAPS Rating: No stars
PUK $34.13 Down -0.08 -0.23%
Prudential CAPS Rating: **
SSE $1582.56 Up +0.56 +0.04%
SSE CAPS Rating: No stars