A number of blue-chips in the FTSE 100 index are considerably less familiar to investors than widely-held stocks such as Lloyds, GlaxoSmithKline and Vodafone.
But just because a Footsie stock is relatively unknown doesn't mean it has inferior prospects than more familiar names. Today, I'm looking at two blue chips you may never have heard of, but which I believe could deliver superior returns.
First up is a company with one of the least eye-catching names in the index: DCC(LSE: DCC). This Dublin-headquartered group was founded in 1976 but only became eligible for the FTSE index series in 2013, gaining a place in the mid-cap 250. A strong performance saw it promoted to the FTSE 100 in December 2015.
The business and share price have continued to thrive and DCC has quietly climbed the FTSE 100. At a current price of 7,285p, it's valued at £6.5bn and ranks at number 68.
Exciting growth prospects
DCC is an international sales, marketing, distribution and business support services group, operating in the energy, technology and healthcare sectors. Energy is its largest segment. A recent agreement to acquire Shell's liquefied petroleum gas business in Hong Kong and Macau is in line with its strategy to be a global leader in the sale and marketing of fuels and related products and the provision of services to end consumers.
In its last half-year results, it said it expects operating profit and adjusted earnings per share (EPS) for the full year ending 31 March to be "significantly ahead of the prior year and ahead of current market consensus expectations." The company is scheduled to release its results on 16 May and the consensus is now for EPS of 298.8p -- a 16% increase on the prior year.
DCC's P/E is relatively high at 24.4 but a number of acquisitions in the latter half of the last financial year will help drive earnings upwards at a good clip over the next couple of years. Further acquisitions are on the cards and as an exciting long-term growth prospect, the stock looks very buyable to me today.
ConvaTec(LSE: CTEC) is another blue-chip you may not have heard of, as it only joined the stock market last autumn and entered the FTSE 100 in December. The flotation share price was 225p but it's now up to 303p, valuing the company at £5.9bn and ranking it at number 77 in the index.
Founded in 1978, ConvaTec is a global medical products and technologies company focused on the management of chronic conditions. It has market-leading positions in several areas, including advanced wound care and ostomy care.
These leading positions in large and structurally growing markets, together with a strong pipeline of innovative new products, are set to deliver strong earnings increases in the coming years. The forecast P/E for the current year is 19.7 and I believe ConvaTec is another Footsie growth prospect that could deliver handsome rewards for investors today.
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G A Chester has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of and has recommended GlaxoSmithKline. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Dutch Shell B. 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.