An impressive result

Today’s first-half results from Numis (LSE: NUM) show that the financial services company is making encouraging progress. Pre-tax profit increased from £11.9m in the first half of the prior year to £16.8m this year as Numis experienced a marked rise in revenue.

This is an impressive result given the high degree of volatility in financial markets during the period and shows that while investors have been nervous, accessing capital has still been possible for listed and unlisted businesses.

With Numis’s CEO and founder announcing that he is stepping down today, this could be viewed as an uncertain period for the company. Certainly a change in leadership always brings greater risk, but with Numis performing well and trading on a price to earnings (P/E) ratio of just 8.8, it seems to offer a sufficiently wide margin of safety to merit investment at the present time. That’s especially the case since Numis is forecast to grow its bottom line by 6% next year and offers a yield of 5.6%.

Relatively bright

Also updating the market today was Shanta Gold (LSE: SHG). Its shares have been down by over 10% today after it reported a loss for the 2015 financial year, with lower production, a lower gold price and higher costs being the key reasons for this.

In fact, the average realised price of gold fell to $1,163 per ounce, which is down from $1,289 per ounce in 2014 and, with a one-off non-cash depreciation charge of $21m being recorded for waste stripping and future development expenditure, Shanta Gold’s net profit of $8.9m from 2014 became a loss of $17.3m in 2015.

Looking ahead, Shanta Gold expects to be at the higher end of annual production guidance for the 2016 financial year. It has also reworked mine plans which has led to reduced costs and with a $10m placing also announced today, Shanta Gold’s future could prove to be relatively bright. However, with a number of other precious metals producers being highly profitable and cheap, there may be better options available elsewhere.

Record order level

Meanwhile, T Clarke (LSE CTO) has also reported today, with the building services company announcing that it is on target to meet full-year expectations. Encouragingly, revenue to 30 April is up by 8.3% versus the same period last year to £78m, while the targeted tender process which T Clarke has implemented across the company has been successful. In fact, the value of the company’s replenished order book remains strong and has now reached a new record level, rising by 10% to £330m.

Looking ahead, T Clarke is forecast to increase its bottom line by 28% in the current year and by a further 36% next year. This puts it on a price to earnings growth (PEG) ratio of just 0.2 and indicates that its shares offer a wide margin of safety as well as upward re-rating potential. As such, it seems to be a strong long term buy.

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Peter Stephens owns shares of Numis. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.