MENU

The Sage Group plc Trading In Line With Expectations

The shares of Sage (LSE: SGE) gained 2p to 355p during early trade this morning after the software developer confirmed its trading had remained in line with expectations.

The FTSE 100 member said the “good performance” in the UK and Ireland that had been reported within its earlier half-year results had continued during the group’s third quarter.

Sage also claimed its European divisions had recently delivered “resilient” performances in market conditions that had remained “weak“.

Furthermore, the firm’s North American operation was said to have maintained a “good performance“, while the businesses in Africa were “performing well“.

Guy Berruyer, Sage’s chief executive, said today:

We are encouraged by our performance in a trading environment which continues to vary across our markets.  We are driving significant change through the business, which is delivering results, and we remain confident that we will deliver on our strategic and financial goals.

Mr Berruyer added that the company’s operating cash generation remained “strong” and that net debt at the end of June was £445m.

Prior to today, City experts reckoned Sage’s current-year earnings would improve 12% to 22.3p per share and could help lift the dividend by 21% to 10.15p per share.

Following this morning’s share-price advance, the shares trade at 16 times earnings and offer a possible yield of 2.9%.

Of course, whether Sage’s valuation and today’s statement combine to make the software specialist’s stock a ‘buy’ remains something only you can decide.

But if you already own Sage shares and are seeking an alternative buying opportunity, the Fool’s top analysts have named one company they believe will generate superior long-term capital growth…

…and such is their conviction, they have declared the share “The Fool’s Top Growth Stock For 2013“.

Simply click here for the report — it’s free.

> Maynard does not own any share mentioned in this article.