Are Today's Updates From SABMiller plc, Pets At Home Group PLC And Smiths Group plc Game Changers For Investors?

SABMIller beer bottles

Shares in diversified technology company Smiths Group(LSE: SMIN) have risen by around 5% today after it announced the $710m acquisition of Morpho Detection. It's a US-based detection and security technology company, with Smiths Group planning to merge it into its existing detection segment.

The deal seems to be a good one for Smiths and fits with its goal of focusing investment on attractive technology-led areas that will position it for long-term growth. And with Morpho Detection having an operating margin of 18% as well as a highly capable management team, it should add value to the business over the medium-to-long term.

With Smiths Group trading on a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 15.3, it may appear to be rather highly valued at the present time. However, with the company having excellent long-term growth prospects, a diversified income stream and a sound strategy, its shares look set to reverse their disappointing five-year period where they have fallen by 13%.

Long-term buy

Also in the news today is Pets at Home(LSE: PETS). Its shares are up by around 4% after the release of a positive trading statement for the full-year. Sales increased 2.1% on a like-for-like (LFL) basis, driven by strong performance from its merchandise and services division. In fact, the latter recorded a rise in LFL sales of 10% for the year and alongside growth in its VIP club membership of 1.3m, Pets at Home is moving in the right direction.

With Pets at Home being forecast to increase its bottom line by 5% this year and by a further 7% next year, it offers an upbeat outlook for its investors. Certainly, its shares aren't particularly cheap due to them having a P/E ratio of 15.9 but with it having expansion potential and a high degree of customer loyalty, Pets at Home offers sound long-term growth prospects.

Increased momentum

Meanwhile, beverages company SABMiller(LSE: SAB) has released a positive trading update for the full-year ending 31 March. Encouragingly, SABMiller has reported increased momentum in the second half of the year across all of its regions, with noteworthy performance being delivered in Africa and Latin America. Those regions witnessed growth in net producer revenue of 6% and 5%, respectively during the final quarter of the year. And with SABMiller having a sound strategy to expand its diversified brand portfolio, it's in good shape to continue its recent upbeat performance.

Of course, SABMiller is currently in the process of being acquired by AB InBev. As such, there's limited upside and with it not yet being a done deal due to regulatory hurdles that must be overcome, it may be prudent to avoid buying SABMiller for the time being.

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Peter Stephens owns shares of Smiths Group. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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