Today I am looking at the investment case for three stock market shakers.
Shares in European retailer Darty (LSE: DRTY) received a shot in the arm on Thursday following a bubbly trading update and were last trading 7% higher on the day.
Darty advised that like-for-like sales advanced 2.7% in the three months to January, underpinned by a chunky 4.4% advance in its core French marketplace. And surging online demand drove click and collect sales 53% higher from the corresponding 2014 period.
With extensive restructuring also rattling along nicely, the City expects earnings at Darty to surge 22% and 23% in the years to April 2016 and 2017 respectively, pushing a P/E rating of 17.7 times for the current period to just 14.2 times for next year.
And Darty is expected to get its progressive dividend policy back on track from this year. Projected payouts of 3.7 euro cents and 4.2 cents for 2016 and 2017, respectively, create decent yields of 2.9% and 3.2%, and I fully expect these to keep rising along with earnings.
A box of tricks
Real estate investment trust (REIT) SEGRO (LSE: SGRO) failed to ignite the market on Thursday despite releasing exciting partnership news the firms share price was marginally lower from Wednesdays close at the time of writing.
SEGRO has inked an accord with Roxhill Development to give the FTSE 250company access to a portfolio of big box development sites in the South East and Midlands. This represents a canny move, in my opinion, given that demand from logistics operators and retailers boosted by the growth of e-commerce continues to rise.
The number crunchers expect SEGRO to follow a predicted 7% earnings advance for 2015 with a 6% rise in 2016, resulting in an elevated P/E rating of 23.5 times. Still, I reckon a predicted 15.9p per share dividend yielding a very-decent 3.6% helps take the edge off such an expensive earnings multiple.
Expect further turbulence
Engineering colossus Rolls-Royce (LSE: RR) has enjoyed a stunning share price over the past week, with news of further restructuring combined with relief that predictions of yet a profit warning failed to materialise pushing the engine builder 25% higher from last Friday.
In light of challenging trading conditions and a stretched balance sheet, Rolls-Royce elected to halve the dividend for 2015, the first cut for 24 years, and warn of a further similar downgrade in this years interim payment.But investors were widely expecting this news, and instead elected to cheer Double Rs decision to initiative cost savings of between 150m and 200m per year, around half of which had already been identified.
Of course such moves are to be applauded given the scale of Rolls-Royces revenues difficulties. But these could prove nothing more than a temporary sticking plaster should problems in its key markets persist. The likelihood of prolonged oil price weakness is likely to keep Marine sales under pressure, in my opinion, while the extent of slowing engine demand at its Civil Aerospace arm is also yet to be realised.
Subsequently Rolls-Royce is expected to endure a 50% earnings slip in 2016, resulting in a slightly-heady P/E rating of 20.5 times. Given the prospect for further earnings downgrades in the coming months, I believe the engineer is an unattractive pick at current prices.