A major challenge for all investors is picking stocks that could deliver stunning growth prospects. After all, the market seems to favour those companies that can produce earnings growth that is in excess of the wider index, with higher share prices often the end result.
However, what makes the task even harder for investors is unearthing such stocks while they trade at attractive prices. Indeed, many growth stocks seem to already have their growth forecasts priced in.
Here, though, are three companies that could deliver excellent growth in 2015, and yet trade at very reasonable valuations.
Although many investors may think of Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) as a rather predictable income stock, there is another side to the company that perhaps doesn’t always receive the attention it deserves. Indeed, Wesfarmers is forecast to increase its bottom line at an annualised rate of 13.9% over the next two years, which is roughly twice the rate of growth of the wider index.
Certainly, competition is hotting up in the supermarket sector, with the rise of Costco and Aldi being of particular concern for Wesfarmers. However, it has the potential to expand outside of food and develop its financial services offering, which could lead to improved growth over the medium term.
And, while Wesfarmers’ P/E ratio is a rather rich 19.9, its PEG ratio of 1.43 seems to indicate good value for such a predictable, safe (and fast-growing) stock.
Ramsay Health Care Limited
The share price performance of Ramsay Health Care Limited (ASX: RHC) over the last fifteen years is quite astounding. The private hospital operator has seen its shares rise by a whopping 5,334% and, looking ahead, more capital gains could be on offer.
That’s because it is forecast to grow its bottom line by around 17% per annum over the next two years and, unlike a number of growth plays, Ramsay has a high chance of meeting its expectations due to the relative stability of its business model. In other words, even if the economy undergoes a downturn, Ramsay’s earnings should be far less affected than companies in more cyclical sectors.
Furthermore, with shares in Ramsay trading on a PEG ratio of 1.76, they seem to offer good value when the appealing, consistent growth forecasts are taken into account.
Oil Search Limited
Clearly, investing in oil and gas companies requires a significant margin of safety at the moment as a result of the volatile price of commodities. In that respect, shares in Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) appeal at the present time, since they have a P/E ratio of 19.8 and yet are expected to increase earnings at an annualised rate of nearly 90% over the next two years. This equates to a PEG ratio of just 0.22, which indicates that possible earnings downgrades are more than priced in.
Looking ahead, Oil Search’s earnings profile may be a lot clearer than the market is currently pricing in. That’s because the output from the PNG LNG project (in which Oil Search is a partner) is under contract, so should provide good earnings visibility moving forward.
This combination of growth, relative stability and a great value share price could help shares in Oil Search to have a strong 2015. Despite this, there’s another ASX stock that could outperform Oil Search (as well as Wesfarmers and Ramsay Health Care) next year.
In fact, the analysts at The Motley Fool have chosen it as their Top Stock For 2015 due to its stunning growth potential and super-low valuation.
The company in question could help to make 2015 an even better year for your portfolio and you can find out all about it, for free and without any further obligation, by clicking here.
Motley Fool contributor Peter Stephens does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned.