Growth has become scarce and many companies will struggle to grow in the current economic environment, that's according to a recent report from Goldman Sachs' equity research department. With this being the case, the bank's analysts have set out to find a selection of companies around the world that are well placed to grow in a low-growth environment.
The companies selected are believed to have "superior access to growth," which means that they're industry leaders that derive a structural growth advantage from their exposure to sector-specific micro trends that are shifting end markets.
Simply put, the companies Goldman believes are best positioned to grow in a low growth market are industry leaders that are well placed to profit from end-market disruption.
Superior access to growth
Ocado is an industry leader in the online grocery delivery space. The company is the only pureplay online grocery distributor, and in a world that's becoming increasingly digital, the company's first-mover advantage in this space is a tremendous benefit. That said, it's no secret that Ocado has struggled to generate a profit since coming to market, although sales have nearly doubled over five years.
Going forward Goldman expects Ocado's sales to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 16% over the next two years. The bank's forecasts also suggest that Ocado's earnings per share will grow at a CAGR of 49% per annum over the next biennium. Based on Goldman's figures, Ocado currently trades at a 2016 P/E of 77.4.
Shire is an industry leader in the research, development and production of treatments for rare diseases. When the company completes its acquisition of Baxalta, it will be the world's largest rare disease treatment company. Due to its size and existing product portfolio, Shire is well placed to maintain its market leading position and Goldman's figures suggest that the firm's earnings per share will grow at a CAGR of 20% per annum over the next two years. Shire's shares currently trade at a 2016 P/E of 13.3.
Lastly easyJet, which has been shaking up the low-cost air travel market ever since its creation. With fuel prices falling and consumer discretionary incomes rising, easyJet is well placed to benefit from both a) growth in the low-cost air travel market and b) lower costs. Both of these should translate into wider profit margins and higher returns for shareholders.
Granted, low fuel prices will also give easyJet's competitors an advantage. But with its existing network of travel destinations already in place, and reputation for efficient, low-cost travel, easyJet is well positioned to capitalise on rising demand for cheap air travel.
Goldman's analysts believe both of these tailwinds will help easyJet achieve a 14% earnings per share CAGR for the next two years. easyJet's shares currently trade at a 2016 P/E of 10.0.
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Rupert Hargreaves has no position in any shares mentioned. 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.