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Should You Buy These 5 Mid-Caps: Pace plc, Laird PLC, Stagecoach Group plc, Tullett Prebon Plc And Travis Perkins plc?


Shares in Pace (LSE: PIC) are up by as much as 9% today after the set-top box manufacturer released encouraging results for 2014. And, looking ahead, it upgraded its own guidance for the current year, with Pace set to benefit from winning a number of key customers last year and the launch of multiple new products.

Despite their strong performance today, shares in Pace trade on a price to earnings (P/E) ratio of just 8.9. And, with such a bright future, they seem to offer a very enticing investment opportunity even though they have already more than doubled in the last five years.

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UK-based technology company, Laird (LSE: LRD), is up by 4% today after posting an impressive set of full-year results. Encouragingly, the company said that it has good momentum to deliver growth in the current year after increasing its bottom line by 11.3% in 2014. This has allowed it to increase dividends by 4.2% and means that Laird now yields a very appealing 3.6%.

Furthermore, with Laird’s bottom line forecast to grow by 16% this year and 12% next year, its P/E ratio of 15.9 seems very reasonable and indicates that further strong share price performance could lie ahead.


Today’s results from transport company, Stagecoach (LSE: SGC), were robust, showed that it is delivering upbeat growth in its top-line and that, most importantly, it is on-track to meet its full-year guidance. And, looking ahead, it could prove to be a surprisingly strong performer, with Stagecoach having impressive growth prospects forecast for the next couple of years.

For example, it is expected to increase profit by 20% in the current year, followed by a rise of 12% next year. This growth rate puts Stagecoach on a price to earnings growth (PEG) ratio of just 0.8, which indicates that its shares could perform well over the medium to long term.

Tullett Prebon

Today’s results from interdealer broker, Tullett Prebon (LSE: TLPR), were disappointing and showed that there is a significant amount of uncertainty surrounding the business. And, looking ahead, it said that it is difficult to predict the level of activity in the markets that it serves, which will leave many investors wondering whether it is a company worth investing in.

However, where Tullett Prebon makes sense as an investment is with regard to its valuation, which includes a significant margin of safety for the current lack of certainty in its operations. For example, it has a P/E ratio of just 10.4 and, with a yield of 5.1%, seems to be an appealing, albeit risky, investment at the present time.

Travis Perkins

Despite profit for 2014 rising by 15%, today’s results announcement from Travis Perkins (LSE: TPK) has sent its shares lower by 2.5% after it cautioned against its short term performance. In fact, the company thinks that demand could stall ahead of the UK General Election, which could impact on its current year results.

Even so, Travis Perkins is still forecast to increase net profit by 11% in each of the next two years which, while it trades on a P/E ratio of just 14.9, indicates that it could be a strong long term performer even if its short term performance is not particularly impressive.

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Peter Stephens owns shares of Laird. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Laird, Pace and Stagecoach. 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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