Shares in mail, parcels and logistics network operator DX (LSE: DX) have fallen by as much as 20% today after it released a rather disappointing set of half-year results.
Despite being in line with revised management expectations, DX posted a fall in revenue and pre-tax profit, with the former falling by 3.9% and the latter by 86.9% versus the same period of the previous year. The key reason for this is a challenging trading environment, with DX implementing measures to try and overcome such difficulties.
For example, it has completed the managed exit of a number of unattractive contracts and has enjoyed some success in securing new contracts on more favourable terms. Furthermore, DX believes that it will meet current guidance for the full-year and is focused on positioning itself for long-term growth, with its strategic OneDX programme set to improve financial performance in the coming years. However, it may be a stock to watch rather than buy at the present time given the scope for further short-term disappointment.
Value for money
Also reporting today was British Polythene (LSE: BPI), with its shares rising by 7% after it delivered an increase in pre-tax profit. It rose by over 4% despite revenue coming under pressure after total volumes declined due to lower demand from multiple UK sectors. Sales were also hurt somewhat by reduced polymer prices and the impact of currency headwinds.
But with its North American division moving back into the black, British Polythene’s overall profit improved and this has enabled it to increase dividends for the full-year by 12.5%. This puts it on a yield of 2.8% which, while low, is covered 3.9 times by profit. This indicates that rapid dividend growth is on the cards and with British Polythene trading on a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of just 9.4, it offers huge upward rerating potential, too.
Despite the challenges that British Polythene faces, it seems to offer excellent value for money. That’s especially the case since earnings are due to rise by 5% in each of the next two years, thereby showing that it’s set to perform relatively well even during a rather difficult period.
Take a risk?
Meanwhile, shares in biotech company Proteome Sciences (LSE: PRM) have risen by over 8% today following the release of an upbeat trading update. The company has reported a positive start to the 2016 financial year, with a strong order book and a growing pipeline in biomarker services.
Notably, following the addition of a further Fusion mass spectrometer in the latter part of 2015, the increased capacity that it brought (through doubling the levels of SysQuant/TMTcalibrator production) is being fully utilised this year. In fact, it has resulted in four customer projects already being completed and an increase in customer enquiries. In addition, partnering has also started well in 2016 and Proteome Sciences is optimistic regarding its long-term prospects.
Clearly, Proteome Sciences may be of interest to less risk-averse investors, although it remains a lossmaking smaller company and therefore, most investors may find more appealing risk/reward ratios elsewhere.
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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.