It’s one of the busiest days of the year today for company news, and with the uncertainty resulting from the EU referendum result, it’s a very important day too. Here are three worth a closer look.
A first quarter update gave Paypoint (LSE: PAY) shareholders a bit of good cheer today, with their shares up 2% to 981p by early afternoon.
Excluding the firm’s online payments business, which was sold in January, transactions rose by 1% to 172.8m, leading to a net revenue rise of 8% to £29m. Crucially, retail service transactions in the UK and Ireland grew by 11.7%, suggesting the firm’s decision to dump online payments and focus on its retail operations was a good one. The only downside was that bill payments and general transactions fell by 5%, but that was largely due to lower levels of energy consumption in the period.
Chief executive Dominic Taylor said the quarter was in line with expectations, adding “I am confident we have the platforms for extending and enhancing our proposition for clients and retailers.“
Paypoint has been recording year-on-year earnings rises, with more of the same forecast for this year and next. With predicted dividend yields in excess of 6%, it’s looking good to me.
Emerging markets credit lender International Personal Finance (LSE: IPF) had a less good day, with on-going problems in its Mexico operations helping push the shares down 20% to 271p. Though the firm’s total number of customers rose by 1.1% and lending was up 6%, pre-tax profit fell to £30.7m from £43.3m last year, a drop of 29%.
Reported profit from Mexico slumped by 73% to just £2.3m (from £8.6m) as chief executive Gerard Ryan said “we have responded to improve not only short-term performance, but also to ensure that we capture the significant, long-term potential of this market“.
The company reckons Mexico should return to growth in the second half, and a forward P/E of under 10 does look undemanding. But the company is also facing regulatory changes that could cause it some grief, and with the shares down 36% over 12 months, sentiment is certainly against it.
Publishing and events firm Informa (LSE: INF) has seen a 12-month share price climb of 30%, to yesterday’s 751p. Today the price is down 2% to 735p on the back of first-half results, but that’s still a pretty good overall performance.
Total revenue rose by 4.7% to £647.7m, with organic revenue up 2.5%, and adjusted operating profit came in 6.3% ahead of the first half last year, at £202.2m. That led to a 3.1% rise in adjusted earnings per share to 23.1p, allowing the interim dividend to be lifted by 4% to a well-covered 6.8p per share.
Chief executive Stephen A Carter expressed “confidence we can again meet our full-year targets, including a third year of revenue growth and improved adjusted earnings.” This suggests the forecast 8% EPS rise is likely to happen. Informa shares are on a forward P/E of 16 now, with a modest dividend yield of 2.8% forecast, which perhaps doesn’t compare well with the FTSE average. But there’s clearly a modest growth factor built in here, and if high single-digit EPS rises continue, Informa could be a fair investment.