3 Shares With Fast-Improving Prospects: BP plc (BP), Vodafone Group Plc (VOD), Unilever plc (UL)

LONDON — I’ve been searching the FTSE 100 to find companies where profit estimates have been increasing. If sentiment on a company is turning for the better, these shares could deliver big returns as the stock is rerated.

Using data from Stockopedia, I have found the FTSE 100 companies whose earnings forecasts have been increased the most often in the last month. Here are three of them.

BP plc (ADR) (NYSE:BP)BP plc (ADR) (NYSE:BP) (LSE:BP)
BP plc (ADR) (NYSE:BP) is striving to put the Gulf of Mexico disaster behind it. Over two years since the accident, BP’s final liability is still unclear.

In the last month, five analysts have moved to increase their earnings-per-share forecast for BP in 2014. Now, the consensus is that BP will make $1.01 per share in 2014 and pay $0.40 in dividends. That’s a 2014 P/E of 7.3 and an expected yield of 5.4%.

BP may still have more to pay out to settle disaster claims, but 2013 looks like the year that BP shareholders can get financial closure on the Gulf disaster.

Unilever plc (ADR) (NYSE:UL)
Progress in the eurozone has inspired confidence in the profits of companies making sales there. One such organization is Anglo-Dutch giant Unilever. Sentiment toward the stock has been boosted in the last month by seven upgrades to 2014 forecasts.

Expectations are that the company will earn 1.75 euros per share in 2014, paying a 1.07 euro dividend.

Unilever is a top company. As is usually the case, this has given its shares a top price. The shares trade on a 2014 P/E of 17.1 times earnings. Although the dividend looks safe, with EPS growth of just 9% being forecast, the valuation looks pretty full to me.

Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD) (LSE:VOD)
In 2012, Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD) paid out more cash in dividends than any other FTSE 100 company. This was thanks in part to a 4 pence special dividend that Vodafone paid. This payment came from Verizon Wireless, the U.S. mobile operator of which Vodafone owns 45%.

In the last month, Vodafone’s 2014 earnings have been upgraded six times. Expectations now are for the company to deliver EPS of 16.2 pence for 2014, paying a 10.5 pence dividend.

I expect the current share buyback program to support the Vodafone share price and future dividend payments. I am happy to hold shares in the company.

The article 3 Shares With Fast-Improving Prospects originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by David O’Hara.

David O’Hara owns shares in Vodafone but none of the other companies mentioned. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in Unilever and Vodafone.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Comments
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months. Our beta is only 1.2 (don't click this link if beating the market isn't important to you).

Lists

The Best B-Boy Movies

Most Awesome Hip Hop Documentaries

Foods That Stain Your Teeth

Richest Doctors in the World

The Best Movie Sountracks Ever

The Highest Grossing Musicals on Broadway

The Most Successful Reality TV Stars

Cheapest Cities to Visit in the US

Most Expensive Summer Camps

Most Expensive Animals in the World

Most Expensive Specialty Crops in the World

Movies That Took Ages to Make

The Longest Hollywood Films Ever Made

Most Expensive Concert Stages

The Richest Bands of all Time

10 Most Corrupt Countries 2013 List

10 Countries with the Highest Quality of Life Index

Most Expensive Mattresses in the World

5 Smallest Countries by Land Area

The Ultimate Heartbreak Songs

Richest Teenagers in the World

10 Most Haunted Places in America

10 Best Places to Retire in Florida East Coast

Top 10 Places to See Before You Die

Top 8 Countries in the World Where Justice Prevails

10 Richest States in America

15 Wealthiest Countries in the World

Richest Singers in the World

Most Expensive Tasting Menu in New York City

Most Expensive Baby Items in the World

Most Expensive Hotel Suites in Vegas

Most Expensive Brunch in New York City

Most Expensive Beef Cuts in the World

25 Best Colleges to Get a Job

Top 10 US Supermarkets

The 25 Most Dangerous Cities in the World to Visit

Most Expensive Xbox Games

Top 11 Cities Where Billionaires Live

Top 10 Most Charitable Companies in America

Most Expensive Seafood in the World

The 10 Wildest Conspiracy Theories

The 10 Best Job Markets in the US

Top 10 Accounting Scandals of All Time

The 25 Biggest Cities in the World

Top 10 Best Paying Virtual Jobs

Most Expensive Leather Shoes in the World

Top 6 Things to Buy in March

The 10 Most Stressful Jobs in America – 2014 List

Top 10 Jobs for Introverted People

Top 10 Honeymoon Destinations in the World

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!