Building towards new high

Building towards new high

Is Ashtead about to break out? Given the moniker of ‘one of the biggest FTSE100 companies you’ve probably never heard of’, we fully expect the growth of the last two years to continue. The trading environment both in the U.K. and the U.S. remains extremely favourable, and Ashmore have said its end markets remain strong, supported by the continued structural changes in the market as customers rely increasingly on rental while Ashtead leverages the benefits of scale. Ashtead’s Sunbelt subsidiary is the second-largest plant hire group in the US and 90% of profits come from there. In the longer term, Ashtead is driving to increase its location footprint across the Atlantic by 50% over the next three years. That’s via its ‘Project 2021’ banner, and will be achieved through ongoing M&A, as well organic expansion, which should ensure solid market share growth and give profits an extra boost. Technically, we see Ashtead trading in an ascending wedge pattern. Ashtead trades on a forward P/E of 15.2x – much too cheap in our opinion, with earnings per share also increasing YOY, up 26% to 127.5p from 104.3p. With both UK & US divisions performing well, we set a PT of 2700.

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