LONDON -- The FTSE 100
Today I'm taking a look at three constituents of the FTSE indexes that have performed well this month. They're not the biggest risers, but they're companies I think have a strong story behind them and could go a lot further.
The U.K.'s homebuilders are looking more and more like they have passed the bottom, and that includes Taylor Wimpey, which has seen its price rise by 14% to 50 pence since the end of July. And that comes on top of a rise from a 2011 low point of 28 pence for an overall gain of 79%.
The firm returned to profit in 2011, and current forecasts suggest an 80% rise in earnings per share to 3.8 pence for the year to December 2012, with a further rise of around 25% for 2013. That puts the shares, based on today's price, on a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 13 for this year, falling to 10.5 for next year. And the dividend is growing once again: Only 1.6% is forecast for this year, but year shares are expected to yield 2.4%.
With all of the major homebuilders having built up their land banks during the crisis years, I think the sector is looking good for the long term. Taylor Wimpey isn't the screaming bargain it was a year ago, but it still looks cheap.
Inmarsat is an intriguing company whose shares are up 13% to 556 pence in August so far. The mobile communications specialist had suffered for a while, as its offerings were slower to capture market share than many had hoped. But Inmarsat has been capitalizing on its key niche of late: marine communications, where conventional mobile phones just won't do.
And when its interim report on Aug. 3 told us that total maritime sector revenue was up 12.7% to $201 million, the shares soared. The company's new FleetBroadband service and its newest range of pricing options got most of the credit. The shares had fallen to 391 pence in May from 2010's peak of 818 pence, so the current run represents a gain of 42% since that bottom.
Forecasts are still decent, with a 5% dividend expected this year and 5.4% next, even if the prospective P/E does stand at about 15.
Halfords has been staging a bit of a recovery recently after hitting a 189 pence bottom on July 25. Since then, the shares are up 21% to 229 pence, having risen 12.5% rise since the start of August alone.
Halfords, which sells auto parts and cycles and operates Halfords Autocentres, has been hit pretty hard by the spending slowdown, although it has kept its dividend up right through the slump -- and this has always been adequately covered by earnings.
Forecasts for March 2013 suggest a dividend yield of a massive 8.7%, though earnings are expected to fall by about a quarter, and the cover won't be great. But with 8.4% expected for 2014, the shares would still look cheap, even with a small dividend cut.
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