Should you buy Topps Tiles plc, EKF Diagnostics Holding plc and Low & Bonar plc after today’s updates?

Are these three shares more appealing or less so after today’s news? Topps Tiles plc (LON: TPT), EKF Diagnostics Holding plc (LON: EKF) and Low & Bonar plc (LON: LWB).

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Shares in Topps Tiles (LSE: TPT) have slumped by around 4% today after it released a third quarter trading update. That’s despite the company reporting like-for-like (LFL) sales growth of 6.2% for the period as its strategy continues to pay off. For example, Topps Tiles has focused on improving its range, offering more inspirational products through its digital brochure service as well as expanding its store estate through the opening of six new stores during the quarter.

However, investor sentiment in the company remains weak following the EU referendum. Realistically, sales could come under pressure as it now appears likely that the UK will experience an economic slowdown of some sort, so investors seem to naturally be demanding a wider margin of safety before buying Topps Tiles.

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With the company trading on a price-to-earnings growth (PEG) ratio of 1.1, it seems to offer good value for money. However, due to its dependency on the UK economy and its lack of long-term sales visibility, it may only be of interest to less risk-averse investors.

Good time to buy?

Also reporting today was Low & Bonar (LSE: LWB), with the international performance materials group recording a rise in sales of 2.4% at constant currency in the first half of the year. This has translated to an increase in pre-tax profit (before amortisation) of 1% at constant currency and, encouragingly for Low & Bonar’s investors, it continues to successfully execute its strategy.

For example, it’s rebalancing the business and was able to negotiate the sale of its cyclical grass yarns segment during the period. Furthermore, it’s progressing towards the resolution of the Bonar Natpet joint venture, while also starting production in China.

Looking ahead, Low & Bonar is forecast to increase its bottom line by 9% in each of the next two years. It could gain a further boost from favourable currency movements and this could help to push its dividend higher at a brisk pace. It already yields 4.7% and due to interest rates being likely to fall, it could become a relatively appealing income play. Therefore, now seems to be a sound moment to buy Low & Bonar for the long term.

Shaking off Brexit

Meanwhile, shares in EKF Diagnostics (LSE: EKF) have soared by over 10% today after the point-of-care business reported a better than expected trading update. For the six months to 30 June, EKF’s sales and adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) were ahead of budget and market expectations. As such, EKF is now confident it will achieve the high end of its targeted range of EBITDA for the current year of £3.5m-£4m.

Furthermore, it continues to make strong progress with its restructuring programme, with the majority of benefits set to come to the fore during 2017. EKF also believes that Brexit won’t hurt its business. Therefore, it would be unsurprising for today’s share price rise to continue over the short-to-medium term.

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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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