Shares in Fairpoint Group (LSE: FRP) have slumped by 9% today despite the consumer professional services company releasing a statement to say it’s performing in line with expectations during the first quarter of the year. Although market conditions in the company’s core debt solutions segment remain challenging, it’s focused on cost control and expects to make good progress in the first half of the year in the legal services division.
Fairpoint’s performance is expected to be aided by the acquisition of Colemans and Simpson Millar, with the integration of both companies progressing well. And while the first three months of the year have been quieter than anticipated in conveyancing services, the outlook for the wider company remains upbeat.
With Fairpoint trading on a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of just 6.6, it seems to offer a wide margin of safety. Certainly, further volatility in its share price can’t be ruled out, but for long-term investors it remains a relatively appealing buy at the present time.
Also among the major movers today is 32Red (LSE: TTR). It’s down by 10%, although the online gambling company is still up by 80% in the last year. It hasn’t released any significant news flow today to prompt the share price fall and with it having upbeat earnings growth prospects, 32Red seems to be more likely to soar rather than suffer from a colossal correction.
In fact, 32Red is forecast to increase its bottom line by 62% in the current year and by a further 28% next year. This puts it on a price-to-earnings-growth (PEG) ratio of just 0.3, which indicates that now could be a good time to buy it for the long term. That’s especially the case since there’s a considerable amount of consolidation ongoing within the gaming sector and while 32Red may or may not be taken over, it retains bid potential due to its strong financial outlook.
On the up
Meanwhile, shares in ULS Technology (LSE: ULS) have risen by 12% today despite no significant news flow having been released by the company. Of course, market sentiment has been buoyant since ULS released a trading update in mid-April where it stated that results for the year are expected to exceed market expectations.
In fact, ULS announced that revenue is due to be around 28% higher and adjusted profit before tax 31% higher as its strategy of growing the number of trading relationships it has with challenger banks and mortgage intermediaries continues to work well. As a result, ULS’s order book has been well ahead of the same point in the previous year, which bodes well for its long-term future.
Certainly, there are fears surrounding the health of the UK housing market, but with ULS being confident in its outlook and predicting strong growth, its shares look more likely to be positive rather than negative in future.