A shocking trading statement in February sent shares in Domino’s Pizza Group (LSE: DOM) packing and, while since bouncing off of the lows, the takeaway titan is yet to crank higher again. Indeed, the stock remains 21% lower from its pre-release levels.
Look, I’m not going to pretend that the foodie’s full-year financials didn’t throw up some serious cause for concern. Like-for-like sales at Domino’s grew just 1.5% during the first nine weeks of 2016, the company advised, an eye-watering reduction from the 7.5% advance enjoyed during the whole of 2016.
While the structural market for the takeaway sector remains strong, Domino’s has suffered more recently as competition from the likes of Pizza Hut has heated up. But I believe the step back from record sales growth should not prompt investors to panic as the company’s multinational expansion strategy still offers a tremendous amount of upside.
Domino’s famously hiked its UK store target in November to 1,600 sites from its prior target of 1,200, and the company plans to have 80 of these outlets up and running by the close of the year.
And the pizza powerhouse also sees huge potential overseas. Not only does the company plan to boost the number of stores it operates in Europe by around 300% (to 400 outlets), but Domino’s also remains busy on the acquisition front to boost overseas sales, the company more recently buying out Norwegian rival Dolly Dimple’s in March for £4m.
The City certainly expects Domino’s Pizza to keep on delivering the goods, and while some analysts have cut their estimates following March’s update, the business is still anticipated to keep on grinding out delicious earnings growth for some time yet.
Indeed, the number crunchers expect Domino’s to report bottom-line expansion of 11% in both 2017 and 2018. And I reckon the prospect of delicious, double-digit earnings growth further out merits a slightly-toppy forward P/E ratio of 20.8 times.
The business of catching so-called falling knives is always tricky, needless to say. But I strongly believe Domino’s could be on the cusp of a fresh move higher as the fruits of huge expansion, allied with the impact of massive investment in the fast-growth digital channel, becomes clear.
Take a sip
Like Domino’s, I reckon the vast amounts Whitbread (LSE: WTB) is throwing into spreading its international wingspan should also deliver exceptional profits growth in the coming years.
Whitbread saw group sales chug 8.2% higher in the 12 months to February 2017, to £3.1bn, with sales at Costa Coffee rising 10.7% as the installation of new stores across the globe (not to mention its highly-popular ‘Costa Express’ machines) paid off. And the 3,816 gross new UK rooms at Premier Inn helped push sales here 9% higher from a year earlier.
Solid demand for Whitbread’s cut-price beds and premium coffee has seen earnings bound relentlessly higher in recent years, and the City expects this trend to continue with expansion of 4% in fiscal 2018 and 8% the following year.
And while a prospective P/E ratio of 16.6 times is great value given Whitbread’s exciting growth plans, in my opinion, I reckon this could lay the foundation for a significant share price re-rating.
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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Domino’s Pizza. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.