3 More FTSE 100 Shares that the City Loves: Melrose Industries, Glencore Xstrata, and BG Group

According to analyst recommendations, Melrose Industries, Glencore Xstrata, and BG Group are three of the most popular shares in the FTSE 100.

David O’Hara
David O’Hara
May 16, 2013 at 3:45PM
Energy, Materials, and Utilities

LONDON -- Bear in mind how fickle investors can be when researching these shares. If sentiment turns, then prices could fall hard.

Melrose Industries
Melrose Industries
 (LSE:MRO) is an engineering business that has grown up fast through acquisition. With a market capitalization of £3.2 billion, it is one of the smallest companies in the FTSE 100.

The successful acquisition of FKI in 2008 took Melrose to another level. Since then, sales are up more than 50% and net profit has more than doubled. Analysts are hoping that Melrose can repeat the trick with the acquisition of Elster last August. Their confidence in management has inspired a raft of buy recommendations.

Melrose is forecast to double earnings per share (EPS) in 2013, with the dividend rising 62%. The shares trade on a 2014 P/E of 12.9 times consensus forecasts, with an expected yield of 3.5%.

Glencore Xstrata
The merger between commodities trader Glencore and mining firm Xstrata completed at the beginning of the month. Unfortunately for shareholders, the company now finds itself in a bear market for miners. Broker enthusiasm alone cannot protect the shares from falling metals prices. Glencore Xstrata (LSE:GLEN) shares are down nearly 4% in the last week.

The consensus of analyst estimates is for $0.47 of EPS for 2013, rising to $0.56 the year after. The company is expected to pay out $0.16 of dividends for this year and $0.19 for 2014. This puts the shares on a 2014 P/E of 9.3 times forecast earnings. The expected yield for 2014 is 3.7%. That puts Glencore on a similar rating to its peers and a P/E discount to the rest of the FTSE 100.

BG Group
BG Group
 (LSE:BG) (NASDAQOTH:BRGYY) continues to win new fans as its exploration and production operations advance offshore Brazil. Recent drilling success off Tanzania has further improved sentiment toward the company's asset portfolio.

BG is forecast to grow earnings by more than 20% a year for the next two years. The dividend is expected to increase less quickly, at around 8.5% a year. This means that the shares trade on P/E of 19.5 times 2012 earnings but just 12.4 times the 2014 number. At today's price, the expected dividend for 2014 equates to a 1.7% yield.

By those measures, BG's rating is not particularly demanding. However, should energy prices continue to fall, the company could come up short against market expectations.

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