Today’s results from global recruitment company Michael Page (LSE: MPI) highlight the benefit of having a diverse geographical spread of operations. That’s because, while the company experienced a challenging first quarter in the UK and Asia Pacific (where gross profit was flat and fell by 2%, respectively), its performance in the US and Latin America (excluding Brazil) more than made up for this. Those two regions grew gross profit by 9% and 11% respectively and helped Michael Page to record overall growth of 3.6% at constant currencies.
Looking ahead, Michael Page is expected to deliver a rise in earnings of 11% this year and further growth of 19% next year. These are impressive figures and the company’s valuation indicates that its share price could rapidly rise, with Michael Page having a price-to-earnings-growth (PEG) ratio of only 0.8. As such, and with the company having a very well-diversified operation across the world and the potential to benefit from a sustained global recovery, now seems to be a good time to buy it.
Also reporting today was marketing company Next Fifteen (LSE: NFC). It’s also geographically well-diversified and its revenue growth of 18.9% for the full-year shows that it’s performing exceptionally well. Furthermore, Next Fifteen was able to improve its operating margin by 100 basis points, with it now being 12.7% and this helped it to grow earnings by 28% versus the prior year. And with Next Fifteen having built a portfolio of modern, technology-driven businesses, it seems to be well-placed to deliver further growth over the medium-to-long term.
In fact, over the next two years Next Fifteen is expected to grow its earnings by 20% and 9%, respectively. This rate of growth could help to boost investor sentiment in the stock and with Next Fifteen trading on a PEG ratio of just 1.3, there seems to be significant scope for major capital growth in the coming years. Therefore, even after its share price rise of 45% in the last year, Next Fifteen seems to make sense as an investment right now.
Buy for the long term
Meanwhile, Santander (LSE: BNC) remains a hugely well-diversified global bank, even though it has been hurt by the disappointing performance of the Brazilian economy. Brazil is a key market for Santander and even though other markets in which it operates have been able to offset the worse-than-expected performance experienced by the bank there, the company’s forecasts have still been downgraded in recent months.
The effect of this has been to hurt Santander’s share price and with its bottom line due to fall by 4% this year, investor sentiment could deteriorate further following Santander’s share price fall of 41% in the last year. However, with the bank now trading on a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of just 8.5 and forecast to return to growth next year, now could be an opportune moment to buy for the long term.
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Peter Stephens owns shares of Next Fifteen Communications. 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.