Today I'm looking at two FTSE 250 (INDEXFTSE:MCX) giants with splendid earnings prospects.
Scrubs up well
For those concerned about the impact of Brexit on their stocks portfolios, I believe PZ Cussons (LSE: PZC) could prove the perfect tonic. The household goods manufacturer is reliant on the emerging markets of Asia and Africa to drive the bottom line, while it also has significant exposure to the healthier regions of Europe.
While PZ Cussons may currently be experiencing difficulties in these white-hot growth regions, I reckon the prospect of rapidly-rising wealth levels in the years ahead makes it an exceptional stock for patient investors.
And it's certainly resilient. Despite the impact of adverse currency movements in Africa and Asia, and difficult market conditions in Nigeria, the Manchester business saw revenues edging 0.3% higher during the year to May 2016, to £821.2m. At steady exchange rates sales shot 5.9% higher.
And I believe innovation across PZ Cussons' monster brand portfolio should enable the top line to keep growing. Indeed, the firm recently commented that "the investment we have put into our European region and newly acquired Australian food businesses has been driving growth."
Soaps and shower gels like Imperial Leather and Original Source carry pricing power like few others, allowing PZ Cussons to hike prices regardless of the broader economy.
Current trading troubles are expected to push earnings 1% lower in the year to March 2017, resulting in a slightly-elevated P/E rating of 19.9 times. But recent self-help measures along with massive brand investment are expected to get earnings moving higher again from next year -- an 8% bounce is currently expected by the City, driving the earnings multiple to an improved 18.5 times.
Like PZ Cussons, I believe DS Smith's (LSE: SMDS) excellent international exposure makes it a great growth pick. More specifically, the company -- which designs boxes and packaging for the fast moving consumer goods (or FMCG) segment -- remains active on the M&A front to build its global presence.
The company has noted "pan-European customers... increasingly require an international partner who not only designs and produces high quality packaging, but also works collaboratively with them to manage their supply chains and drive sales in a multi-channel retail environment."
As a consequence DS Smith shelled out £433m on five acquisitions in the last fiscal year alone to create an entry point or build its presence in 13 countries. And recent purchases like Gopaca, Duropack, Cartonpack and Lantero significantly bolster the firm's position in rapidly-growing markets from Portugal to Eastern Europe.
This approach has seen earnings increase by double-digit percentages in each of the past four years. And further rises, to the tune of 11% and 6%, are expected in fiscal 2017 and 2018 by City brokers. I reckon subsequent P/E ratings of 13.2 times and 12.5 times make DS Smith a steal.
Make a fortune while others fidget
In short, there are plenty of reasons to remain bullish on the UK stock market, even if the risks have just leapt a notch, or several.
But as I've explained, times of great macroeconomic uncertainty like these mean that picking the 'right' stock can be more difficult than usual.
So the Motley Fool's crack team of analysts have been busy scouring the FTSE 250 to dig out what they believe is one of the best growth stocks money can buy.
Click here to enjoy this exclusive 'wealth report.'It's 100% free and can be delivered direct to your inbox.
Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of PZ Cussons. The Motley Fool UK has recommended DS Smith. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.