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Two Bargain-Basement Growth Stocks To Buy In The Next Few Days (And One To Avoid)

Could Ten Entertainment shareholders strike it lucky with another strong trading update next week?Getty

In this article I’m discussing some growth shares whose values could surge, or sink, following trading announcements marked in for next week.


Applegreen’s proven a terrific growth generator in recent years thanks to a combination of strong economic conditions in its home market of Ireland and upgrades to its sites.

The business — which operates retail outlets on petrol station forecourts — is investing heavily for the future and is looking increasingly to the US and the UK to drive profits higher. This comes at a cost, of course, and the acquisition of British motorway services operator Welcome Break last year is expected to have put annual earnings into reverse in 2018. Full-year trading details are slated for Tuesday, March 19.

This is tipped by City analysts as a temporary roadblock in Applegreen’s growth story, though, and the firm’s expected to roar back with earnings rises of 44% and 19% in 2018 and 2020 respectively, projections that leave it dealing on a prospective sub-1 PEG ratio of just 0.3 times. This is a bargain by any measure, and particularly if the business releases another set of positive trading numbers to shove the share price higher.

John Wood Group

Now John Wood Group hasn’t produced the sort of stunning earnings growth as Applegreen in recent years; in fact, severe oil price volatility has played havoc with the engineering giant’s bottom line in that time.

City brokers believe that the FTSE 100 firm is about to reach the sunlit uplands, though, and to follow an anticipated 16% profits rise in 2019 with a 29% advance in 2020. I’m not so convinced, however, and reckon upcoming full-year financials scheduled for Wednesday, March 20 could pour a bucket of cold water over these bright forecasts and force its share price to the downside.

Wood Group has announced a couple of contract wins over the last week, but the uncertainty over energy prices looks set to last and this could continue to curb demand for its services. I’m fearing another such warning concerning this next week and therefore I’m not tempted to buy in, even though the firm deals on a forward P/E ratio of just 12.5 times.

Ten Entertainment Group

On a brighter note, Ten Entertainment Group is a London-listed stock whose share price I’m confident could gain some significant ground when it also releases full-year results this coming Wednesday.

The ten-pin bowling operator certainly impressed last time out in January when it declared that like-for-like sales grew for the seventh consecutive year in 2018, illustrating that Britain’s recently-rejuvenated appetite for the game over the past decade is still going strong. I’m expecting another set of positive comments on the state of the market next week, something which could send the company’s share price still higher.

It’s no surprise to me that the number crunchers are forecasting earnings expansion of 23% in 2019 and 14% in 2020, figures that reflect the strong trading environment in addition to Ten Entertainment’s plan to open between two and four new bowling complexes each year. Right now the business boasts a forward P/E ratio of 10.3 times, a figure that provides plenty of scope for its share price to swell in the near-term.

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