LONDON -- The summer lull for company news continues while we await the next rush of reports due to start coming through in July. But we do have a few key full-year results to come next week from representatives of varied sectors. Here's a quick look at three companies due to bring us their annual figures.
Berkeley Group (LSE:BKG)
Wednesday will bring us full-year results from Berkeley Group, the residential-property holding company that offers some classic growth characteristics.
Berkeley has raised its earnings per share strongly for the past two years, keeping its price-to-earnings ratio modest and its PEG ratio below 0.7, which is generally considered good value by growth investors. And with forecasts for this year suggesting further EPS growth of nearly 50%, the PEG falls to 0.3.
Also, the firm has started paying dividends this year, with an interim payment of 15 pence per share being announced after first-half pre-tax profits soared by 40%. The full-year dividend yield should be around a modest 1.7%, but the firm's latest update said the group was on course to return cash of £568 million to shareholders by no later than September 2015 -- and that would provide a double-digit dividend yield.
And the share price? It's up about 70% over the past 12 months, though the shares are still only on a forward P/E of about 14.
On Thursday we will have full-year figures from equipment-rental firm Ashtead Group, and we really have an investing success story here: Ashtead shares have soared by more than 150% over the past year to 613 pence, although they have been even higher.
Forecasts are looking great, too, with a 75% rise in earnings expected for the year to April 2013 and a further 25% currently suggested for the following year. There's not much of a dividend yield yet, with only 0.8% expected this year, but payout advances are expected in the coming years.
We're unlikely to see any nasty surprises from Ashtead, as earlier third-quarter numbers showed revenue up 19%, underlying pre-tax profit up a massive 85%, and underlying EPS up a similar 83%. At the time, chief executive Geoff Drabble said, "we now anticipate a full-year profit ahead of our earlier expectations."
We will have annual results from Dixons Retail on Thursday, too, and we'll have a firmer idea of how the company's turnaround is going. According to May's trading update, things are looking good at Dixons. The high-street retailer said it had a "strong performance across the year," with multichannel like-for-like sales up 7% -- which is pretty good for a business that, just a few years ago, didn't seem to know what Internet shopping was.
This year is forecast to bring a 15% rise in EPS, putting the shares on a P/E of more than 30. But it's really just the start of the expected recovery in profits, with further forecasts suggesting the P/E will be down to about 14 by 2015.
Dixons shares have done well -- in fact, they're the best performer of the year of the three companies here, having more than three-bagged to reach a current price of 42 pence. Is there further to go? There could well be.
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