Should you buy National Grid plc, Britvic plc and Royal Mail plc following today's updates?

Britvic products

Today I'm taking a look at three newsmakers in Thursday trade.

Drinks delight

Beverages behemoth Britvic(LSE: BVIC) was recently dealing 1% lower in Thursday trade despite announcing a chunky rise in interim profits.

The drinks play saw revenues advance 5.1% between October and March, to £678m, a result that shoved post-tax profit 7.5% higher, to £41.7m.

Britvic enjoyed "continued market share growth in all of our key markets," it advised, and I believe the firm can look forward to further breakneck growth in The Americas in particular. Brazilian sales leapt 8.6% during the first half, while the upcoming launch of its Fruit Shoot multi-pack in the US is likely to go down a storm.

The City certainly expects Britvic to shrug off the upcoming 'sugar tax' in the UK and keep earnings chugging higher -- advances of 5% and 6% are anticipated for the periods to September 2016 and 2017.

These numbers result in very attractive P/E ratios of 15.1 times and 14.1 times.

And income chasers should be encouraged by Britvic's ultra-progressive dividend policy. An estimated 23.9p per share reward for 2016 leaps to 26.1p for next year, driving the yield from 3.3% to 3.6%.

A great package

Parcels giant Royal Mail(LSE: RMG) has seen its share price slip 4% from recent 11-month highs above 500p following mixed trading numbers.

Royal Mail saw revenues rise 1% during the 12 months to March 2016, to £9.25bn, the company lauding "a resilient performance in challenging markets." However, the courier needed a strong performance across its GLS European division to compensate for weakness at its domestic operations.

Royal Mail saw adjusted operating profit slip 2% last year to £551m. However, stripping out the cost of massive restructuring, the business actually saw operating profit rise 5% year-on-year, to £742m.

While modernisation costs are likely to remain a problem for some time yet, and Royal Mail battles against huge competition in the parcels market, I reckon the business should deliver splendid returns in the long-term as internet shopping drives packages volumes at home and abroad.

This view is shared by the City, and Royal Mail is anticipated to follow flatlining earnings in 2017 with a 4% advance the following year. The firm sports exceptional P/E ratios of 11.4 times for 2017 and 10.7 times for 2018 as a result.

And Royal Mail's cash-saving measures should light a fire under dividends, too -- projected rewards of 23p and 24.2p per share for 2017 and 2018, respectively, yield a splendid 4.7% and 4.9%.

Sparking up

Power play National Grid(LSE: NG) has slipped 3% in Thursday trading despite the release of bubbly full-year financials.

I see this as nothing more than profit-booking, however (National Grid has ascended to fresh record highs above £10 per share in recent days) and reckon investors should keep piling into the business.

The utilities giant saw pre-tax profits surge 15% during the year to March 2016, to £3.03bn, with National Grid helped by the "higher price arbitrage between the UK and mainland Europe." The business warned that it expects revenues from its interconnectors arm to fall in the current period, however.

Still, the City expects the bottom line to keep rising as on-going asset expansion in the US and UK pays off, and has pencilled-in earnings advances of 1% for both 2017 and 2018. These figures produce a pukka P/E rating of 16.2 times for the period.

But it's in the dividend stakes where National Grid really sets itself apart -- forecast payouts of 44.6p and 45.7p per share for 2017 and 2018 yield 4.4% and 4.5%.

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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Britvic. 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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