Prudential's last results confirmed a 71% earnings per share increase, and a 16% dividend hike. Although a decline in EPS is expected for 2013, the dividend is forecast to rise again.
Looking further ahead, broker forecasts put the shares on a 2014 P/E of 12.0, with an expected dividend yield of 3%. That's a discount to the average FTSE constituent.
Prudential's business has considerable exposure to Asia, where it generates around one-third of its profits. It is the prospects of those operations that have pushed Prudential's shares higher in recent years.
Budget airline easyJet (LSE:EZJ) is the FTSE's best performing share of the last 12 months. Anyone buying a year ago would be 145% ahead today, excluding dividends.
Sales have doubled in the last five years at easyJet. This success has allowed the firm to start paying a dividend. From 11.5 pence per share in 2011, the figure is expected to hit 26.4 pence per share for 2013, before advancing again to 29.5 pence per share in 2014.
Earnings growth at the company is also expected to continue for the next two years. If the forecasts are hit, then easyJet is today trading on a 2014 P/E of 12.9, with an expected yield of 2.5%.
In the last 12 months, shares in ITV (LSE:ITV) are up 85%.
A commercial broadcaster such as ITV will inevitably see profits rise in a recovering economy. This is because advertising receipts increase, enabling investment in programming. A virtuous cycle then kicks in, leading to higher profits.
Since 2009, net profits have increased from 91 million pounds, to 267 million pounds. EPS has risen from 2.7 pence to 7.6 pence.
Within its last trading statement, ITV reported a 6% increase in advertising revenues, and a 17% rise in online, pay, and interactive sales.
Brokers are forecasting 10.2 pence of EPS for the year, with a dividend of 3.25 pence per share. That puts ITV on a 2013 P/E of 13.2, with an expected yield of 2.4%.
Let me finish by saying that, when a share starts to recover, it can be some time before its rise is halted. Indeed, buying cyclical shares, such as ITV, ahead of an economic recovery is a classic method of making big gains from shares.
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