Do Recent Updates Indicate 20% Upside For Banco Santander SA, Tullett Prebon Plc And Rank Group PLC?

Should you buy these 3 stocks right now? Banco Santander SA (LON: BNC), Tullett Prebon Plc (LON: TLPR) and Rank Group PLC (LON: RNK).

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Shares in interdealer broker Tullett Prebon (LSE: TLPR) have soared by around 9% today after it released a positive trading update.

The key takeaway is that the final two months of the 2015 financial year were stronger than expected for the company and its top line increased by 14% during that period. This brings its revenue rise during 2015 to 13%. As a result, the company expects underlying profit for the 2015 year to be higher than in the 2014 financial year, with operating margins being higher than previous guidance at 13.5%.

The final two months of the year benefitted from increased activity in some traditional interdealer product areas. This included the oil market that has continued to provide a relatively high level of activity, while market volumes in equity products have also shown improvement. With Tullett Prebon also cutting costs and becoming increasingly efficient, it appears to be in the midst of a major turnaround.

With its shares trading on a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of just 9.7, it appears to offer considerably more upside than 20%. As such, it seems to be a strong buy for the long term, although it’s likely to remain volatile.

Limited growth

Also reporting today is gaming company Rank (LSE: RNK). Its first half performance has been positive and shows that the company is making encouraging progress with its long-term strategy. For example, sales were up by 5% on a like-for-like basis and its digital platform migration is on target to go live by the end of the first quarter of the current year.

Looking ahead, Rank is forecast to increase its bottom line by 8% in the current financial year. While that would be a relatively impressive rate of growth, the company’s valuation indicates that there’s limited upside potential. For example, Rank trades on a P/E ratio of 17.9 and this equates to a rather unappealing price-to-earnings growth (PEG) ratio of 2.2 when it’s combined with the forecast growth rate. Because of this it may be prudent to look elsewhere for future share price growth.

Long-term potential

Meanwhile, shares in Santander (LSE: BNC) have come under severe pressure from poor performance in the bank’s key market of Brazil. Its economy has a rather downbeat outlook and so Santander’s financial performance may not improve dramatically in the short run. With the UK economy facing uncertainty due to a weakening global outlook, another of Santander’s key markets may also hurt its performance moving forward.

Despite this, buying Santander for the long term appears to be a very sound move. It trades on a P/E ratio of only 7.4 and yields 5.4% from a dividend that’s covered 2.4 times by profit. This indicates that total returns could be above and beyond 20% in the long run, but that a volatile share price performance could lie ahead.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

Peter Stephens has no position in any shares mentioned. 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.

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