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4 stocks to profit from everyday needs

Thinking about a portfolio made up of diversified stocks representing “must have” services with good growth potential, I put together a “cycle of life” group that could cover you from cradle to grave. These four companies fill those needs for four stages of people’s lives.

Day care service

From the cradle and a little longer, day care service G8 Education Limited (ASX: GEM) covers those early years when parents work, and must have someone take care of their children. The majority of its 233 day care centres are in Australia and some in Singapore. It rapidly amassed a sizeable number of sites in an industry that is highly fragmented with many single and privately owned day care centres.

Revenue is a little over $270 million, and net profit climbed from $13.9 million to $32.8 million over the past two years. Similar to a chain restaurant or store growing from region to region, the company can expand by acquisition into many suburbs and states. Recently it contracted to buy 63 more centres, the deal to be settled in April. That will bring the total to 296.

Education

Schooling is a must, so Navitas Limited (ASX: NVT), the educational services provider is a good choice. It offers its university programs, which span from certificates to Masters degrees in 30 colleges and managed campuses in Australia, North America, Africa, Asia and Europe.

It has media technology institutes on 57 campuses, and its professional programs supply vocational training and English language courses.

It has raised its underlying net profit every year since 2005, generating $75 million in 2013, and fills that span from young adults to life-long learning mature students.

Work

Jobs are at the heart of Seek Limited (ASX: SEK), the number one online jobs listings portal that so many people search for employment with. The growth of earnings has been amazing in Australia, and the company is expanding into Asia through several acquisitions such as JobStreet and JobsDB, leading online job websites in their own regions.

2013’s underlying net profit rose almost 40% to $152.7 million from the previous year. A growing economy will create more jobs, of which many may find their way onto Seek.

Later life

The final stage is covered by Invocare Limited (ASX: IVC), the owner and operator of funeral homes, crematoria and cemeteries in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. Its business grows organically by the average death rate, and acquisitions of smaller, privately-owned competing funeral homes along the way have made it a steady stock to own.

Funeral home services could be referred to as a recession-proof business, and the company’s revenues have steadily risen over the past 10 years. Underlying net profit since 2011 increased from $27.1 million to $49 million.

Foolish takeaway

There you have the “cycle of life” stocks. Some are high growth stocks, and some are more long-term to get the full benefit. The need people have for these kinds of services keeps them profitable. They may do the same for you as an investor.

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Motley Fool contributor Darryl Daté-Shappard does not own shares in any company mentioned. 

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