Should you buy these two after today’s news?

With results out today, are we looking at two nice opportunities?

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Company news is starting to get a bit thin, but we’re still getting some interesting results coming our way. Here are two companies whose shares have been storming ahead, but is there more to come?

Growth from healthcare

Shares in Craneware (LSE: CRW) have had a storming year, climbing 65% over the past 12 months, and since the end of 2014 they’re up nearly 120%.

Tuesday’s full-year results gave the price a little boost, pushing it up 3% to 1,060p by mid-morning. The software company, which focuses on the profitable US healthcare market, saw revenue up 11% to $49.8m, with adjusted EBITDA rising 10% to $15.9m. Adjusted EPS perked up 13% to 42.9 cents, and an increase in year-end cash to $48.8m helped enable a total dividend of 22 cents (16.5p) per share.

That’s a yield of only 1.6%, but Craneware is on more of a growth valuation at this stage in its development. With several years of double-digit earnings growth expected to continue into 2017, the shares are on a forward P/E of 29 based on June 2017 forecasts.

That might look steep, but chief executive Keith Neilson did say that today’s growth in revenue and EBITDA is “only beginning to reflect the record levels of sales which began three years ago,” adding that the development of the firm’s software suite has enlarged its potential market to “several times larger than it was when we joined AIM in 2007.”

If he’s right, then we could be looking at an attractive growth proposition here, although a PEG ratio (which compares P/E to forecast EPS growth) of 2.6 right now does suggest a lot of the hoped-for growth is already factored into the price and the super bargain days are behind us now.

But having sounded that note of caution, I think earnings growth could start to accelerate in the coming years, and I reckon Craneware could be a good long-term bet.

Back in fashion?

Shares in Ashmore (LSE: ASHM) had a more subdued start to Tuesday, with full-year results keeping them unchanged at 355p by late morning.

The investment manager had been out of fashion for some time with fears over its exposure to emerging markets having an adverse effect on sentiment. But the firm did manage to beat forecasts, after reporting a “recovery in markets and investor sentiment” in the second half. Net revenues fell by 18% to £232.5m, although pre-tax profit declined by a more modest 8% to £167.5m with an impressive EBIDTA margin of 62%. EPS was down 7%, but a total dividend for the year of 16.5p provides an attractive yield of 4.7%.

After a quick post-Brexit dip, the share price recovered to produce a 15% share price rise since the day of the vote — and it’s now up 81% since a 2016 low point on 21 January. So there’s a big question now over whether we should see Ashmore shares as a buy.

City analysts are still putting out a bearish consensus, and with Ashmore shares now on a forward P/E of more than 20 (they’ve been around 14-15 for the past couple of years) I can see why. Investing in areas like emerging markets can be volatile, and they are cyclical — and what that means is we should be getting in when everyone else is pulling out.

Ashmore is still probably a decent long-term investment, but I’d say the best recent opportunity has passed us.

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.

Alan Oscroft has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Craneware. 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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