Mattioli Woods(LSE: MTW) edged to fresh record highs in Tuesday trade following the release of half-year trading numbers -- it was last 1% higher on the day above 860p per share.
The company, which provides wealth management and employee benefit services, announced that revenues shot 17.4% higher in the 12 months to May, to £50.5m, while organic revenues increased 11.6%. As a consequence adjusted EBITDA rose 17.2% to £10.9m.
Lauding the results, chief executive Ian Mattioli said: "Sustained demand for advice and the continued development of our investment and asset management proposition have driven strong new business flows, which together with acquisitions completed in the current and prior financial year increased total client assets under management, administration and advice by 17.5% to £7.77bn."
And Mattioli Woods continues to invest heavily to keep new business rolling in. It boosted the number of advisors on its books to 115 at year-end from 104 a year earlier, and expanded its geographical handprint by moving to new offices in London and Glasgow last year and opening a new base in Manchester.
Meanwhile, the financial giant advised that "acquisitions remain a core part of our growth strategy," and noted that "the five businesses acquired during the previous financial year have integrated well and all have contributed positively to the group's trading results since acquisition."
On the right track
Mattioli Woods has been doling out double-digit earnings increases in recent times and, although City analysts expect growth to dial back a bit in the near term, a predicted 7% advance for the year to May 2018 is still not too shoddy.
And the number crunchers expect profits at the Leicester firm to rev up again from next year onwards -- an 11% improvement is pencilled in for fiscal 2019.
Many investors may be put off by the forward P/E ratio of 23.4 times, a figure that sails above the broadly-regarded value benchmark of 15 times. But I reckon the company worthy of such a premium, given its dedication to pursuing acquisitions.
Besides, I reckon the probability of further meaty dividend growth also makes the AIM stock a tantalising proposition right now. Mattioli Woods is expected to raise last year's 14.1p per share payout to 15.3 in the current year, and again to 16.8p in 2019.
As a consequence, investors can tap into handy yields of 1.7% and 1.9% for this year and next.
PZ Cussons (LSE: PZC) is another stock I expect to deliver brilliant shareholder returns thanks to the formidable brand power of products like Imperial Leather soap and shower gel and Morning Fresh washing up liquid, not to mention its vast exposure to lucrative emerging markets.
Trading troubles in regions like Nigeria have seen earnings disappoint more recently, although Cussons is expected to bounce back in the years to May 2018 and 2019 -- rises of 6% are predicted by City analysts for both years.
And the household goods maker is expected to keep dividends growing at a handsome rate too, the 8.28p per share payment of last year projected to advance to 8.9p and 9.4p in 2018 and 2019 respectively. These figures yield 2.6% and 2.7%.
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Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of PZ Cussons. 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.