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Shares in tool hire company Speedy Hire (LSE: SDY) have risen by over 5% today after it released a positive update. The company’s first quarter revenues are slightly ahead of the comparable period, with Speedy Hire following a disciplined approach to bidding. It has also retained a number of major framework contracts since the start of the financial year.

Encouragingly, Speedy Hire’s overhead costs are significantly lower than in the prior year, while utilisation rates have risen to 50%. And with the firm having adequate headroom against its banking facilities as well as reduced net debt versus the same time last year, its financial outlook appears to be positive.

The problem, though, is that the UK economic outlook is highly uncertain and Speedy Hire’s share price has moved 8% lower since the EU referendum in response. It now trades on a price-to-earnings growth (PEG) ratio of just 0.3, which indicates that while its future may be somewhat uncertain, its margin of safety seems to be sufficiently wide to merit purchase at the present time.

Non-UK focus

Also reporting today was GVC Holdings (LSE: GVC). The e-gaming operator reported upbeat growth in the first half of 2016, with its performance boosted by the acquisition of bwin.party as well as increased customer engagement due to the European Championships. And with the integration of bwin.party progressing well and set to deliver €125m in synergies by the end of next year, GVC’s short-to-medium term outlook is positive.

With GVC trading on a PEG ratio of just 0.2, its shares appear to offer strong upside potential. And with the company stating that the EU referendum result will have little or no material impact on its operations due to 90% of its customer base being outside the UK, its future growth prospects may be more certain than is the case for UK-focused operators.

Certainly, its restructuring is incomplete and there’s a risk this will not progress as expected, but for long-term investors GVC seems to be a strong buy – especially for those individuals who are unsure about the prospects for the UK economy.

Generous offer?

Meanwhile, Poundland (LSE: PLND) has risen by 12% today after it announced details of a deal for Steinhoff Europe to acquire it for 222p per share. This is made up of 220p in cash plus a final dividend of 2p per share for the full year to 27 March 2016. This values Poundland at £597m, with it representing a premium of 13.3% to the closing price of Poundland shares before the offer was made.

The deal is being backed by Poundland’s directors as well as major shareholder Canada Life Investments. This means that Steinhoff has received irrevocable undertakings to vote in favour of the deal from around 9% of shareholders.

The offer price equates to a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 18, which may appear to be rather generous. However, with Poundland forecast to record a rise in earnings of 6% this year and 13% next year, the 222p per share offer could prove to be a good deal for Steinhoff, should investors in Poundland decide to vote to accept it.

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 considered so you should consider taking independent financial advice.

Peter Stephens has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended GVC Holdings. 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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