LONDON -- The economic crisis has forced governments worldwide to consider how they can deliver services more efficiently. Frequently, they are turning to the private sector. Compass Group (LSE: CPG ) has been a major beneficiary of this trend.
Compass first made its name as a large-scale caterer in food halls, schools, and company buildings. Compass now offers a considerable range of other services such as security, cleaning, and maintenance.
In the past five years, sales at Compass have increased at an average rate of 10.5% per annum. In that time, earnings per share have increased at an average rate of 22.1% a year.
Compass is forecast to deliver EPS and dividend growth of around 9% a year, this year and next.
Mobile computing boom
Mobile computing on smartphones and tablets is fueling major cultural change. It is going global and revolutionizing both industry and consumer behavior.
ARM Holdings (LSE: ARM ) (NASDAQ: ARMH ) is the world leader in the design of small, low-power computer processors. As more is expected from smaller devices, ARM has cleaned up.
In 2007, the year Apple launched the iPhone, ARM made sales of 260 million pounds. Five years later, that figure had doubled. This growth saw the company increase EPS fourfold. BI Intelligence expects smartphone sales to increase 50% in the next two years. Mobile tablet sales growth is expected to be even higher.
ARM is forecast to grow earnings 70% this year and 30% in 2014. The shares today trade on a 2014 price-to-earnings ratio of 38.2 times forecast earnings.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over-90s in America are 4.7% of all over-65s. In 1980, these ton-pushers were just 2.8% of the older population. In the U.K., a 45-year-old woman today can expect to live to 83 years of age.
As the world ages, its citizens' health-care demands will grow. Pharmaceutical firms such as GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK ) (NYSE: GSK ) are perfectly positioned to profit.
Glaxo is forecast to grow EPS 17.1% in 2013 and 10.1% next year. That puts the shares on a 2014 P/E of 13.7. The dividend is expected to rise 5.3% this year and 5.2% the next, equating to a 2014 yield of 4.7%.
I'm not the only one convinced by the long-term prospects for this industry. The U.K.'s best fund manager, Neil Woodford, is also massively bullish on the pharmaceutical sector. He recently described pharmaceutical shares as "the opportunity of the decade." To help you learn more from this master investor, our team at The Motley Fool has prepared a report "8 Shares Held by Britain's Super-Investor." This report is totally free. Just click here to start reading today.