Despite serious fears over the vast imbalance washing over the oil market, City consensus continues to suggest that BP(LSE: BP) has the power to generate strong and sustained earnings growth.
Forecasters are expecting it to flip from the losses of recent years to earnings of 19.2p per share in the present period. And further progress is expected in 2018, to 22.9p.
But with US shale producers continuing to return to work at a steady pace and question marks over the effectiveness of the OPEC supply accord, I reckon these forecasts are in danger of disappointing. And a forward P/E ratio of 23.9 times is hardly reflective of the high risk of current projections missing the mark.
And looking further down the line, the pace at which green energy is being embraced across the globe threatens BP's ability to create healthy profits growth in the decades ahead.
With this in mind I am looking at two London-quoted stocks with better profits potential than the fossil fuel giant.
The Vitec Group (LSE: VTC) produced yet another robust set of financials last week. The company, which produces cameras as well as a broad range of related equipment, announced that revenues jumped 9.6% during January-June to £187.6m. And sales from continuing operations at stable exchange rates advanced 3.1% in the period.
This result powered adjusted pre-tax profit 24.5% higher to £19.3m, or 10.9% at constant currencies.
Vitec is benefitting from the trend of broadcasters moving programming to outside the studio, powering demand for products like its easy-to-move camera tripods and wireless transmitters. And the business has a raft of new gadgets slated for the second half and beyond, which should keep driving turnover across both its Photography and Broadcast divisions.
The number crunchers believe that the future remains rosy for the camera giant, and have pencilled in earnings expansion of 9% and 5% for 2017 and 2018 respectively.
With Vitec subsequently boasting a cheap prospective P/E ratio of 14.9 times, roughly in line with the broadly-considered value benchmark of 15 times, I reckon the company should command serious attention right now.
I am also convinced online retail colossus ASOS(LSE: ASC) has what it takes to deliver titanic profits expansion in the years ahead.
Thanks to its huge international footprint, the clothes seller saw group revenues explode 32% during March-June, to £660.1m. While sales in the UK rose by a respectable 16%, despite the vert tough market conditions, revenues detonated 44% in its international markets.
And news that the clothing colossus plans to invest $40m in a new warehouse in Atlanta, Georgia should keep sales in the US alone tearing higher -- turnover in the territory (at constant currencies) soared 26% in the four months to June.
The abacus bashers expect ASOS to generate earnings growth of 12% in the 12 months to this August, and to follow this with a 29% advance next year. A subsequent P/E ratio of 78.6 times may appear 'nosebleed' territory, but I reckon the prospect of excellent earnings expansion in the coming years still makes the business a hot bet right now.
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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of and has recommended ASOS. The Motley Fool UK has recommended BP. 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.