Since last July's dip, shares in Admiral(LSE: ADM) have powered up by 28% to 1,767p, for an overall 12-month gain of 20%. Add to that a predicted dividend yield of 5.6% for the year ended December 2015, and if you bought a year ago you'd have done very nicely.
However, annual double-digit EPS growth came to an end with a 2% dip in 2014. There's a forecast for a modest resumption of growth starting in 2016 after a flat 2015, so results due on 3 March could be crucial. Admiral famously pays out a large portion of its annual cash as a special dividend, and if that's missed any time then a key support for the share price will have been removed. But with the first half dividend upped by 3% to 51p per share, the full 2015 payout is looking safe enough.
At the interim stage, EPS was up 4%, with chief executive Henry Engelhardt saying "Profits are up, customer numbers are up, earnings per share is up, the dividend is up ... you might say it was a pretty 'up' first half!"
The only downside is a relatively high P/E of 17, which has the analysts split over whether to buy or sell -- but those dividends are surely worth a bit extra.
The past year has been less kind to BBA Aviation(LSE: BBA) shareholders, who are sitting on a 22% share price loss -- although there has been a 29% recovery since a low on 20 January to today's 195p. There's still an attractive 4.1% dividend yield mooted for the year just ended, but the trouble is there's a 15% fall in EPS expected too, with no uptick predicted until 2017.
A trading update released by the aviation support provider in December told us that overall revenue was down 3%, with its Engine Repair & Overhaul having a bit of a tough time and not performing in line with previous expectations.
If we hear anything a bit more upbeat for 2016 prospects, we could see the share price recovery continuing, especially if a return to EPS growth looks like it could happen this year instead of next. But with BBA on a P/E of 14.5, I see better bargains out there.
My third pick reporting tomorrow is Genel Energy(LSE: GENL), whose share price has collapsed over the past 12 months by 87% to today's 75.6p. Things got worse on 29 February when a reduction of 75% in 2P reserves at the Kurdistan-based oil producer's Taq Taq field was announced -- and the shares lost 41% on the day! Taq Taq is responsible for around 60% of Genel's production.
The possible upside is that Genel's production costs are very low, and the current share price values its assets very cheaply indeed. It's a political minefield in Kurdistan, but even a modest recovery in the oil price could gear up the value of Genel's reserves quite nicely -- although profit isn't expected before 2017. If you like this level of risk, there could be a nice upside here.
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Alan Oscroft has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of and has recommended BBA Aviation. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.